Karnataka Legislature panel recommends opening liquor shops in Telangana and Andhra border areas


PTI, Feb 23, 2024, 9:21 AM IST

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Karnataka Legislature Committee has recommended opening state-owned liquor shops in areas bordering Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where drinkers are consuming “sendi” (local liquor) which is harmful to health.

The Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in its second report, which was tabled in the assembly, said that Mysore Sales International Ltd (MSIL), the centralised marketing unit of the Government of Karnataka, should open its liquor outlets in such areas where there is demand.

The committee, headed by Congress MLA from Malavalli P M Narendraswamy, has noted that in some places MSIL outlets are in the middle of the village, and they must be shifted as they are causing inconvenience to the public.

The panel also recommended strongly that the government open Jan Aushadhi Kendras (generic medicine stores) in areas dominated by SC/STs and the poor.

Pointing out that funds meant for maintenance of toilets in government schools are being diverted towards painting water tanks and other purposes, the committee recommended creating a dedicated “toilet fund”.

Each school gets only Rs 40,000 a year for repair of toilets, which is up from Rs 20,000 earlier, it said, pointing out that in the last financial year, only Rs 120 crore was given as grants for school education, which is not enough and must be doubled to Rs 240 crore.

Increasing the quota under the Right to Education (RTE) Act from the current 25 per cent, which includes 7.5 per cent for SC and 1.5 per cent for ST, and 16 per cent for others, was another recommendation by the committee.

Furthermore, in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), SC/STs must be given 24.1 per cent of advertising tenders, it further said.

Citing violation of the Constitution by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) in not providing any reservation to SC/ST entrepreneurs in the allotment of plots in the first phase of the Hi-Tech Defence & Aerospace Park near the Bengaluru airport, the committee recommended that in the second phase SC/ST entrepreneurs must be allotted plots, making up for the backlog.

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