Chennai: Tamil Nadu government, on Saturday, issued instructions for the closure of 500 state-run retail liquor shops with effect from 19 June, in line with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s directives.
According to a government release, MD, Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Kirlosh Kumar), has issued instructions for closure of 500 retail vending liquor shops with effect from 19 June.
However, the release did not specify the specific outlets where shutters will be downed, starting Sunday.
The order by the official also detailed the steps needed to be followed in redeploying employees of the outlets that will be closed down.
This included posting them in existing vacancies in the district and others in the region as per requirement.
Jayalalithaa had during the campaign for the 16 May Assembly polls promised the electorate that prohibition in the state will be implemented in a phased manner.
After winning the elections, one of her first orders was to reduce the business hours of state-run TASMAC outlets.
The working hours were revised from 12 noon to 10 pm as against the earlier 10 am to 10 pm schedule. She had also directed closure of 500 retail outlets.
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday directed the state government to form a committee to check the menace of alcohol consumption, particularly among the youth, and submit a status report within two months.
The court’s response came when Advocate General AL Somayaji submitted that a committee will be formed in this regard. However, the court said mere formation of a committee itself may not suffice to monitor the holistic scheme of how to reduce alcohol consumption.
“This is so as lot of private organisation and voluntary agencies worked in these social sectors and may have both information and solution,” it said and pointed out that only a coordinated effort can be successful.
The matter relates to a PIL filed by Advocates Forum for Social Justice represented by K Balu, its President, also an advocate of the PMK party, seeking a direction to give effect to the recommendations and measures set out in the ‘Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014’.
“We expect the committee to be constituted within a maximum period of two weeks from today. The committee to submit a status report on the action taken within two months of its constitution,” the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, said.
Disposing of the petition, the bench said “No further directions are required, except that it should be a court monitored process at least initially till the system starts working of its own.”
When the matter came up, the petitioner brought to the knowledge of the court that the toll free prohibition helpline no:10581 was ineffective.
The bench went through the affidavit filed by Apurva Varma, Principal Secretary to Home, Prohibition and Excise Department, in response to the PIL narrating steps taken in respect of the World Health Organization report and heard the Advocate General’s submission.
The bench said though the AG has cited various aspects of the ‘Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, 2014’ being implemented in different forms, “the ground reality is quite different. It cannot be disputed that there is large consumption of alcohol and there is need to check this habit especially in two sectors one the under aged sector and another where essential family means are diverted to purchase of alcohol.”
To prevent liquor consumption among the ‘under aged sector,’ the bench suggested that personnel demand identity cards of such persons, who they suspect are underage, at the liquor sale depots.
MK Stalin decided to go in for an image makeover when he started to campaign for the DMK for the upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu. The son of DMK leader M Karunanidhi was seen wearing track pants and sneakers and riding around a scooter in some constituencies. The 62-year-old surprised many with his zest and energy despite the rigorous campaign and the number of people he reached out to during the last few months across Tamil Nadu. In an exclusive interview with dna, he talks about his campaign, the alliance with Congress party and the failures of the AIADMK government. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>How successful has the ‘Nammakku Naame’ campaign been for the DMK?’Namakku Naame Payanam’ has been the largest-ever people-contact programme undertaken by any public leader in Tamil Nadu in the recent times. I met people from all 234 constituencies, covered over 11000 kilometres, over 50 days. It has added immense value to the party as we were able to feel the pulse of the people in the grass-roots, listen to their issues and formulate our manifesto based on the feedback.Have you been able to woo the younger voters?All voters are tired of an ineffective and non-functioning AIADMK Government whose hallmark has been zero governance. Every voter wants change. Every voter, particularly the young voter wants solutions to unemployment, stagnant growth and lack of development. Today our youth do not have jobs. Unemployment is massive, close to 90 lakh youth are without jobs. They will vote for a government that provides them employment. DMK’s manifesto and development agenda is centred around harnessing the power of the youth – providing jobs, quality education, entrepreneurial support and relief from education loans.Prohibition has been one of the key issues for most parties this election. Why?The AIADMK Government has not been able create meaningful employment for our youth, however it has ensured the expansion of TASMAC. The AIADMK government’s excise policy has had disastrous effect on families, increased domestic violence and reduced the income of families. Total prohibition will save our families, women and youth. It will improve the productivity of the people and revive the state’s economy.What are the key things that DMK will do for the people of Tamil Nadu if it comes to power?DMK will enforce total prohibition. We will ensure a corruption-free, transparent government by setting up the Lok Ayukta and giving the people guarantee of government services. The state’s development will be brought back on track through much-needed reforms – industries and infrastructure will be revived, thereby creating jobs to the youth.The PMK feels that the people of Tamil Nadu no longer want a Dravidian party in power. DMK has always furthered the Dravidian ideals of equality and self-respect. We have been instrumental in creating an equanimous society through social reforms such as Samacheer Kalvi (equitable education), equal property rights for women and men, temple entry rights and rights to perform prayers in temples for all. The Dravidian ideal of striving towards an equanimous society where self-respect of the individual is paramount, is as relevant today as it was when the movement was started.You have been on the ground campaigning and talking to the people relentlessly. Is this a foundation for a bigger role in the DMK in future?It is the duty of every political leader to meet people, know their issues and address them. The people outreach initiatives I have been undertaking are in continuation of my belief that people are at the forefront of a democracy and their participation is paramount. This is the primary motivation for my on-ground initiatives.Do you think forming an alliance with the Congress is an advantage for the DMK this election?For the upcoming election, we have forged an alliance that would help us unseat the corrupt ADMK government led by an inactive Chief Minister. Congress shares the same objective. Furthermore, having a party that shares our secular ideals and vision for the state as an ally, is always an advantage.What advantage do you think the DMK has over the AIADMK this time round?Our manifesto, vision and commitment to Tamil Nadu’s development is the game-changer, this election. On the one hand you have DMK which has laid out its plans to make Tamil Nadu, the No.1 state in India on all development parameters and on the other hand, others misleading people with false claims about their track record of governance. The choice is simple – vote for development, vote for DMK.
DMK on Sunday promised total prohibition, setting up Lokayukta, a cut in state-run Aavin Milk price by Rs 7 a litre, revival of the Legislative Council, and implementation of the Sethusamudram project in its manifesto for the May 16 Assembly polls. DMK did not, however, announce any populist freebie schemes on the scale of free colour televisions it had made in 2006, though it promised a slew of concessions and waivers, catering to various sections of people. It includes mobile phones for the poor at concessional prices, free wi-fi Internet for students, waiver on crop and educational loans, inclusion of free milk in nutritious meal scheme, and Rs 60,000 assistance to women for marriage. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK also promised improvisation in some ongoing schemes like marriage assistance plan. Currently, the AIADMK government provides Rs 50,000 assistance and gold for mangalsutra. It assured ‘Anna (on the name of DMK founder and former Chief Minister CN Annadurai) Unavagam,” in the place of Amma Unavagam, a cost-effective chain of state-run canteens.Releasing the manifesto, Karunanidhi attacked AIADMK chief and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa over her promise of implementing prohibition in a phase manner and dismissed it as “deceitful”. He said the state-run liquor outlet – TASMAC – employees will be provided alternative employment. He said Tamil will be introduced as “co-official language” in central government offices too in Tamil Nadu. He promised waiver of crop loan for small and micro farmers, and a separate budget for agriculture. A separate farm budget is a pet theme of the PMK. DMK also promised waiver of educational loans for students.