Telangana

Revanth sees sales tax scam behind liquor price hike

A. Revanth Reddy

A. Revanth Reddy   | Photo Credit: File photo

Government highly dependent on revenue from sale of liquor, says Congress MP

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president and Malkajgiri MP A. Revanth Reddy has alleged a huge sales tax scam behind the increase in prices of liquor in the State.

Mr. Reddy requested the Centre to take initiative to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the liquor price hike. He also wanted the consumer forum to take up the liquor price hike issue suo motu as it is not only pinching the consumers’ pockets but also resulting in atrocities against women.

In an open letter addressed to people in the wake of liquor price hike, the Congress MP said the State government policy on liquor appear to be ringing-in its coffers mostly with the revenue from liquor, which he said had increased over five time during the last five years. “The income to Treasury from liquor was only ₹10,500 crore in 2014-15 but it has gone up to ₹22,000 crore this year. With the hike effected on Monday, it will further go up to ₹26,000 crore,” he explained.

Highlighting the State government’s increasing dependency on liquor for revenue, Mr. Reddy said income from liquor to a State like Uttar Pradesh with 22 crore population was ₹23,000 crore, while it would be ₹26,000 crore to Telangana with only 4 crore population.

Against the practice of selling liquor, or for that matter any product, with 50% margin on the cost of production, it was being sold at 500% to 1,000% higher price over production cost. As a result, liquor costing ₹10 was being sold at ₹50 to ₹100, he stated.

Stating that investigation into the increasing crimes against women in the State was proving the link of crime to liquor, the Congress leader said belt shops were available in every street corner in the State making people slaves to liquor. He alleged that an organised mafia was deciding the liquor brands to be sold in shops based on the “commission” paid by the brewers.

He urged the Centre to order a CBI probe into liquor production, distribution, sales and increase in its prices. He cautioned the State government that they would move courts if the liquor prices were not rolled back.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:55:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/revanth-sees-sales-tax-scam-behind-liquor-price-hike/article30331341.ece

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