'Replicate Kerala's Prohibition Drive'
Lauding Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s efforts to introduce prohibition, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss said the Tamil Nadu government should follow his lead and announce the implementation of total prohibition in the State within six months as a policy decision.
In a press release on Wednesday the senior PMK leader pointed out that acting in tune with the people’s wishes, Chandy had ordered the closure of 418 of the 752 liquor bars in Kerala, and announced that steps would be taken to enforce total prohibition in the State within the next 10 years.
Pointing to the prevailing situation in Kerala, Ramadoss said the per capita consumption of liquor was the highest in the country. Nevertheless, the Chief Minister ordered the closure of the bars taking into account the sentiments of the women.
Drawing a parallel with the situation in TN, he said the State was on a road to ruin because of the drinking habit among men. Countless womenfolk went to bed supperless every day, along with their children, because their husbands squandered all their money at the liquor shops. The State also has the dubious distinction of topping the list in the number of road accidents and fatalities per year, which has made widows of several young women.
Quoting statistics the PMK founder said that Kerala’s tax revenue stood at `35,542 crore last year, with sale of liquor - `9,300 crore - contributing more than one-fourth of the income. Fully aware of the financial constraints, the Kerala government nevertheless went ahead with its decision to close down bars as a first step towards total prohibition. In contrast the Tamil Nadu government, which got a revenue of `23,401 crore through sale of liquor last year, has set a target of `26,292 for the current year. And in a bid to meet the target the government is operating TASMAC shops on all streets.