Former Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu on Sunday demanded that the YSR Congress Party Government explain to the people why it was not giving details of excise revenue following steep hike in prices of liquor in the state. While boasting about 13 per cent reduction in liquor shops in today’s media advertisements, the Government avoided any mention of the revenue just because it had increased apparently.
The Opposition Leader in AP Council stressed the need for giving a special package to the media organisations considering their vital role in a democracy and their financial crisis on account of Coronavirus epidemic lockdown. It would not be correct on the part of the Government to spend public funds indiscriminately on improper advertisements.
Strongly objecting to 75 per cent hike in liquor prices, Mr. Ramakrishnudu said that this has become a grave threat to the weaker sections people mostly because 80 per cent of their families come under direct impact of liquor as per a survey. Only 7.5 per cent among upper castes and 59 per cent among muslim minorities are affected. Now, the steep price hike would further cripple the lives of weaker sections who were already financially suffering due to loss of work in lockdown period.
The TDP leader deplored that lakhs of poor families were not only losing what little money they have but also suffering serious health risks because of poor quality liquor. While no Government has imposed additional taxes or burdens on people anywhere in the world and the country, AP Government was giving lots of problems to poor families instead of providing proper relief to them in this COVID crisis. The YSRCP was giving direct and indirect support to illegal businesses. Non-duty paid liquor was flowing all over the State causing major loss to the State exchequer.
Mr. Ramakrishnudu deplored that CM Jaganmohan Reddy was only interested in hiking current bills, RTC fares, liquor prices and other taxes rather than rescuing people in times of crisis situations like Coronavirus and gas tragedy. The CM has not shown any enthusiasm to prevent rise in COVID cases and failed to extend timely relief to gas mishap victims. Problems of Amaravati Capital City farmers, migrant workers and agricultural growers have multiplied.
Stating that COVID cases were rising alarmingly in the state, Mr. Ramakrishnudu said that now AP had come up to 4th position in the country in terms of total virus infections due to miserable failure of the YSRCP Government. In Corona related deaths, AP stood in first place in South India and standing at 7th position all over India. As said earlier, CM’s negligence was leading to AP fast crossing the 2,000 mark in virus cases in a day or two.