KARNATAKA

Amendments to Excise Act criticised

HASSAN AUG. 10. The Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, D.H. Shankaramurthy, on Sunday alleged that the amendments to the Excise Act were made to help the liquor lobby.

Mr. Shankaramurthy, who was here to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of Kannikaparameswari Temple, was speaking to presspersons.

Criticising the Government's stand on the stamp paper racket and the demand for a CBI probe into the death of the former Minister, H.Nagappa, he said that this showed that it was hiding something.

Mr. Shankaramurthy charged that the Government was apprehensive of seeking a CBI inquiry into the two cases, which had inter-State ramifications.

He also accused the Government of "shielding" the Minister for Small-scale Industries and Haj, Roshan Baig, who was "under a cloud". Mr. Shankaramurthy charged the Government with "protecting" corrupt officials.

It had not taken action against those allegedly responsible for misappropriating funds with regard to the Neerasagar Tank works in Dharwad District.

Terming the Government as "anti-farmer", he criticised it for not releasing compensation to the kin of farmers who committed suicide. "Paying compensation is secondary. The Government should concentrate on checking the trend (of farmers ending their lives)," he said.

Alleging that the Government was exploiting teachers recruited under the Mahiti Sindhu programme, Mr. Shankaramurthy pointed out that the Government paid Rs. 67 crore in excess to NIIT, and it did not have correct information on the people recruited under rural weightage.

He denied the charge that the BJP-led NDA Government was also responsible for the suicide by farmers in the State, and said the Centre had done much more than what the previous governments had done for farmers.