BJP MLAs on Friday raised the matter of corruption in the liquor trade demanding CBI probe. Raising the issue in the House, BJP’s Bokaro MLA Biranchi Narayan said that by February 15, 2023, the state government should have collected a revenue of Rs 1607 crore against its target of Rs 2500 crore in the financial year 2022-23.
The BJP leader said that there is a high level of corruption in the excise policy and only investigation by competent authority such as CBI will bring the truth. Narayan demanded a CBI probe into the matter that the excise department failed to achieve the target though the state government implemented the excise policy ignoring the eight objections of the revenue board and the Jharkhand governor.
Last year, the Jharkhand government approved the new Excise Policy based on the recommendation of Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited (CSMCL). The government has decided to rope in Jharkhand State Beverages Corporation Limited (JSBCL) as the agency. CSMCL had advised certain changes in the 1915 excise policy of Bihar that Jharkhand had incorporated.
While responding to opposition allegations, Minister Mithilesh Thakur took strong exception to the demand saying there is no illegality in the business and the policy was implemented after proper consideration of objections raised by the revenue department.
As independent legislator Saryu Roy listened to this he put a supplementary question asking whether the government has reduced the target to Rs 2000 crore from Rs 2500 crore. Minister Thakur said that the target has not been reduced but it has been decided that the shortfall in the target will be compensated by levying penalty on the Chhattisgarh-based company involved in the business.
As the minister replied, MLA Bhanu Pratap Shahi demanded the constitution of an assembly committee to get the matter investigated.
Meanwhile, in other development Congress MLA from Mandar Shilpi Neha Tirkey claimed that there is RSS’ ugly design to convert ‘Adivasis’ into ‘Vanvasis’ in 35 Eklavya Model Residential Schools established by the union government in Jharkhand.
Shilpi Neha Tirkey daughter of former education minister Bandhu Tirkey, expressed her opinion in the Jharkhand assembly while opposing the BJP’s cut motion brought in response to the department’s budgetary demand for education and literacy, technical and higher education.
She explained that the state has no say in these schools and that their management is handled by an NGO.