President of the T-employees Joint Action Committee (JAC), Swamy Goud has come up with a novel way to dent the revenues of the state government. He has asked the employees’ involved not to buy or consume liquor during the strike period.
“All employees should take an oath to desist from drinking alcohol during the strike. It will make our strike a success,” said Swamy Goud.
However the call to stay away from alcohol has not gone down well with many of the employees, who claim the JAC is now interfering too much into their personal lives. “Who is the JAC to decide on drinking or smoking? If this is allowed they will also decide how we should dress next,” slammed a senior official from the T-region, working in Secretariat. Sources say many employees are against this latest call by the JAC.
But the call doesn’t end at this. The JAC has also asked that wine shops in the Telangana region stop buying liquor from the AP Beverages Corporation, so that the government may lose money in a big way, something that has not gone down smoothly with wine shop owners either. “The liquor sales are already down due to the bandhs. If they insist on this complete prohibition, we will have to close down our businesses to recover the huge deposits paid to the government as license fee,” lamented a dealer, who preferred to remain anonymous.
The Telangana area is the largest consumer of liquor (both Indian Made Liquor (IML) and toddy), and the Andhra Pradesh government earns 55 per cent of its excise revenue from this region. In fact, the 10 districts in the Telangana region consume about 70 per cent of toddy produced in the state. The employee unions have also announced that they will not attend future meetings until the government withdraws forces from Telangana and repeals GO 166 and 177 issued in last March to implement ‘no work no pay’ rule.
In the meantime, the Cabinet sub-committee meeting scheduled for Monday was postponed, as deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha was away, while the other Telangana ministers chose to stay away from the meeting. The meeting has been moved to Tuesday instead to decide on an action plan to handle the employees’ strike. The chief secretary directed the collectors from the 10 districts to prepare a ground level report so that the cabinet sub-committee could take the appropriate decisions. TOI