H Nagesh told TNM that he had made no such statement and that his words were taken out of context.

No plan to subsidise alcohol for the poor Karnataka Excise Minister refutes reports
news Politics Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - 16:21

Karnataka Excise Minister H Nagesh on Tuesday denied that the state government had proposed subsidising alcohol for the poor. Nagesh's statement came soon after local media reported that the Excise Minister had said that the state government was planning to subsidise alcohol for the poor.

Citing H Nagesh’s press conference on Tuesday, Local media reports claimed that the Karnataka government was hashing out several logistical issues related to the proposal to subsidise alcohol for the poor. Reports also falsely claimed that the government was mooting selling the subsidised liquor through the public distribution system.

Refuting the allegations, Excise Minister H Nagesh told TNM that he had made no such statement and that his words were taken out of context.

“During the press conference, one of the reporters asked me whether a proposal to subsidise alcohol was on the cards. I informed him that such a proposal was not new and that it had first been proposed during the Siddaramaiah government in 2013,” he said.

The Minister said that the Excise Department officials had considered a proposal for subsidizing alcohol in 2013. However, the plan was shelved as doing so would mean that the government was encouraging people to drink more alcohol.

“It would have become a public health issue. I told the media today that even though such a proposal was there, our government was not going to take any step to subsidise alcohol,” he said.

Earlier in September, Minister Nagesh had been involved in a controversy after he said that the government was mulling over a proposal to deliver alcohol to homes. He had also spoken about a system of mobile liquor shops in the thandas (colonies) of Adivasi communities. The proposal stemmed from concerns over how people were travelling 10-15 km to find a liquor shop in some remote areas of the state. 

Within 24 hours, the Minister had recanted his statement and had said that the government had no such proposal. “There are no such proposals (of starting mobile liquor shop and online liquor sale) before the state government. My statement has been misinterpreted,” he had said. 



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