No cheap liquor for now : Telangana CM

Thu 03 Sep 2015, 10:30:01
Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Wednesday decided to drop the proposal, at least for now, to introduce cheap liquor in the State, apparently due to strong criticism from all sections of people. A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of Telangana Cabinet, headed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. “We have decided to keep the decision to introduce cheap liquor in abeyance. As such, there won’t be any cheap liquor in the State for this year,” KCR told media persons after the Cabinet meeting.

The Telangana government had earlier decided to make available cheaper brands of liquor by reducing the excise duty on certain brands, in a bid to eradicate the menace of gudumba (illicit liquor) in the society. During the discussion on cheap liquor at the Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister felt that the decision to introduce cheap liquor had brought some bad name to the government. Instead of harping on cheap liquor, it would be better to focus on curbing the gudumba with stringent enforcement.

KCR said the old liquor policy would continue this year. “There was a demand for alternative drink in place of gudumba and lot of debate has taken place on this. There has been mixed opinion from the people and we have decided to continue the old system without introducing the cheap liquor for this year. We will tighten enforcement wing to curb the gudumbaand if needed, we will use the PD Act against makers and sellers of gudumba,” he said.

There would be a strict vigil on the gudumba and an IG level police officer would be deployed to tackle the issue, he added. The Chief Minister said the government would soon announce Telangana Jala Viniyoga Vidhanam (Telangana Water Utilisation Policy). As part of this, the government would spend in the coming three years Rs 25,000 crore for irrigation projects. For this year, it would release Rs 1,000 crore per month.

He said that the report pertaining to the redesigning of irrigation projects would soon come to the government. Referring to the criticism on change of design, KCR said that there was no need for doubts on the objectives of government in this regard. “I am the one who has fought for separate Telangana… I am a

fighter… I am a crusader. I will not do something which will cause loss for Telangana. We are taking every step carefully,” said KCR.

The government also decided to take up delimitation of districts in Telangana and formed a committee under the leadership of Chief Secretary with Revenue Secretary and other higher officials being the members. As per the national average every district has 19 lakh population but as per the Telangana average the population is 35 lakhs per district. The committee would start functioning from Thursday, KCR said.

In order to overcome the losses of TSRTC in Hyderabad, government handed over the responsibility of bring a turnaround to GHMC. From now onwards, the GHMC commissioner would be a director in the TSRTC board of directors so that he can monitor the corporation. Chief Minister said that the RTC GHMC was suffering losses of Rs 218 crore annually. Government decided to take up double bedroom houses with Rs 3,900 crore for 60,000 houses.

Replying to a query about regularisation of contract employees, he pointed out that distribution of the government employees between the two States was 75 percent complete. Once this formality got finished, regularisation process would be taken up, he said and added that no decision was taken on enhancement of salaries of outsourcing employees.

In rural areas the cost of double bedroom houses with 560 sq.ft area would be paid Rs 5.04 lakhs. In urban areas, the cost would be Rs 5.30 lakhs and the area would be same at 560 sq. feet. Stating that there were few real beneficiaries in the earlier housing schemes, Chief Minister said that government would pay the bills. The collectors would inquire and provide bills to genuine beneficiaries, he added.

The other decisions taken include increasing of age relaxation to the candidates applying for government vacancies from 34 years to 44 years, authorizing the GHMC to call tenders worth Rs 2,631 crore for multilevel flyovers under SRDP (Strategic Road Development Project), setting up of three agriculture polytechnic colleges in Nizamabad, Mahabubnagar and in Karimnagar, following reservations in market committees.

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