Lok Satta

Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:36

Lok Satta turns to Human Rights Commission to halt liquor shop auctions


The Lok Satta Party today sought the State Human Rights Commission’s intervention in halting liquor shop auctions scheduled to begin in the first week of June.


Lok Satta leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and V. Laxman Balaji, Mahila Satta leaders N. Sarojadevi and S. V. Gajanani and Yuva Satta leaders Dasari Ratnam and P. Sivaji made a representation to this effect to Justice Subhashan Reddy, Chairman, Human Rights Commission.


The leaders pointed out that dealers who obtained liquor shop licenses by paying astronomical amounts as bid money, sought to maximize their sales and revenue by opening unauthorized outlets. Although the Lok Satta Party repeatedly drew the Government’s attention to the havoc caused to people’s health and incomes because of growing liquor consumption, the Government chose not to act. In contrast, the Election Commission acted on the party’s plea and got the belt shops shut in just two weeks.


Quoting a NIMHANS survey for WHO, the party recalled that while the Government would earn a revenue of Rs.15000 crore on liquor sales during the Excise Year, the people would lose Rs.16900 crore by way of health care costs.


The State Government has also ignored the Union Health Ministry advice that the State Health Department be entrusted with the responsibility formulating a comprehensive liquor policy keeping people’s health in mind. The Excise Department, on the contrary, did not bother about people’s health since its interest lay in maximizing liquor revenue.