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'Don't get caught in moral issues, open liquor shops': Raj Thackeray writes to Uddhav Thackeray

Coronavirus impact: Raj Thackeray said that opening liquor shops does not mean that the government is looking after the needs of alcohol consumers but is only aiming to "to start the process of income flow into the shrinking revenue" of the state

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | April 23, 2020 | Updated 17:28 IST
‘Don’t get caught in moral issues, open liquor shops’: Raj Thackeray writes to Uddhav Thackeray
Coronavirus news: Raj Thackeray bats for the sale of alcohol

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray wrote an open letter to his cousin and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray advocating sale of liquor in the state. He said lifting of the lockdown is nowhere in sight and as such banning liquor sales will impact state revenues. "Since 18th March, our state is in a lockdown phase. First, the deadline was March 31, then extended to April 14, now it stands at May 3. How long will this lockdown phase keep getting extended cannot be ascertained," he said.

Thackeray said that opening liquor shops does not mean that the government is looking after the needs of alcohol consumers but is only aiming to "to start the process of income flow into the shrinking revenue" of the state.

Also read: Coronavirus Live Updates: India reports 1,409 news cases in last 24 hours; tally touches 21,393

"The excise duty generated for the state via liquor amounts to Rs 41.66 crore daily, or Rs 1,250 crore monthly and around Rs 14,000 crore yearly," Thackeray pointed out.

He said that the state should not concern itself with moral issues. "It's not that there was a liquor ban in our state and we are asking to remove that. Prior to lockdown, the wine shops were open. The state government should not try to get caught in some moral issues at such a crucial time and take the necessary action," Thackeray said in the letter.

Raj Thackeray argued that the police force and healthcare workers do not have PPE kits. Additionally necessary requirements such as free meal services are not met.

Also read: Coronavirus effect: Fitch cuts India's growth forecast to 0.8% for FY21

The MNS chief also said that low budget restaurants and outlets must be allowed to function. "There are so many low budget small restaurants, canteens wherein one has access to the affordable and humble 'rice plate'...There are many homes which are not equipped with cooking staff and many homes would not even have the necessary supplies and requirements needed for cooking," he wrote.

He also said that adhering to the norms of the lockdown is the responsibility of the hotel owners. "To face this corona pandemic, the citizens will cooperate but the government too needs to ensure a decent and liveable life to its citizens in return," he added.

Also read: Coronavirus impact: No dearness allowance hike for govt employees

Also read: Coronavirus in Noida: Gautam Budh Nagar officials chalk out containment strategy till July-end

INDIA CORONAVIRUS TRACKER: BusinessToday.In brings you a daily tracker as coronavirus cases continue to spread. Here is the state-wise data on total cases, fatalities and recoveries in one comprehensive graphic.

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