National Chronicle

TN govt faces flak for allowing liquor outlets to open

Chennai,  Ruling AIADMK-ally PMK have joined the chorus of the opposition slamming the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to open up the state-run liquor shops from May 7 onwards.

The liquor retail in Tamil Nadu is a state monopoly run by Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation or popularly known as Tasmac.

DMK President M.K.Stalin said the state government instead of securing its share of Goods and Services Tax (GST), share allocated by the Finance Commission and other dues is creating a situation of people crowding during lockdown.

Stalin said it is shocking to note that the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to open up the liquor outlets.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu government announced its decision to open up the liquor outlets from May 7 onwards. The shops will function between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Tamil Nadu government said in order to control the movement of people in the border areas with Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as liquor shops have been opened there, the decision to open the liquor shops in the state was taken.

Stalin, however, has not bought this logic.

Liquor shops located in the containment zones though will continue to remain shut, the government said.

According to the government, social distance of six feet should be maintained between persons standing in a queue.

Similarly PMK an ally of the ruling AIADMK opposed the government’s move. According to PMK Founder S.Ramadoss the unfortunate decision would result in adverse consequences in the state.

He said there has been no negative reports of liquor shops remaining closed for the past 40 days and it was a constructive and positive development. Ramadoss also said the reason attributed by the AIADMK government to open up the liquor shops is unacceptable and the decision would result in law and order problems in the state as well as spread the Coronavirus.

Pointing out that the Rs 1,000 cash assistance given by the state government MMK party leader M.H. Jawahirullah wondered whether the former wants to collect the assistance with interest by opening up the liquor outlets.

Jawahirullah said the liquor drinkers cannot maintain social distance and there will be further spread of coronavirus.

For the state government, the sale of liquor is a major source of revenue – about Rs 30,000 crore per year-and this was stopped for the past 40 days due to nationwide lockdown.

On Sunday night the government increased the value added tax on petrol and diesel. As a result the retail prices of petrol went up by Rs 3.25 per litre and that of diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre.

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