Haryana: BJP, Congress spar over excise policy, ‘corruption’

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh
Feb 25, 2020 11:06 PM IST

The House also witnessed uproar when Batra raised issues pertaining to what he alleged as ‘parking lot’ scam in Rohtak

The Haryana assembly witnessed heated arguments between the treasury benches and opposition Congress MLAs over issues pertaining to the excise policy and the alleged corruption in the state, during the discussion on the governor’s address on Tuesday.

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Within minutes after the uproar in the Zero Hour, Congress legislator BB Batra’s remarks that the BJP-JJP government was promoting liquor consumption and its peddling, contrary to their promise to check it, triggered a din in the House.

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While Batra was criticising various features of the new excise policy, deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, who holds the excise and taxation portfolio, countered him by saying that it was the same policy which was framed by the previous Congress government and the BJP-JJP government had only added some stringent measures to check the consumption and smuggling of liquor.

“You are an educated person. Such remarks are not expected from you,” he told Batra.

However, Kiran Choudhry backed Batra and said that the Congress sought to know the government’s steps to check smuggling.

Dushyant said the government had plugged all the ways and the scope the previous government had left unattended for liquor smuggling.

He highlighted the steps initiated by the government, including monitoring of liquor from manufacturing point to sale point from flow meter to sale receipts (QR code or hologram on each bottle), respectively.

When Hooda drew Dushyant’s attention towards the remarks of BJP state president Subhash Barala against the excise policy, Khattar said Barala has now been apprised about various features of the policy.

The House also witnessed uproar when Batra raised issues pertaining to what he alleged as ‘parking lot’ scam in Rohtak.

Batra said that a multi-level parking lot in Rohtak had been allotted to a private firm for Rs 2 crore on 99-year lease by the government on public-private partnership (PPP) mode last year. He claimed that the market value of the parking lot was about Rs 150 crore. He also alleged that Panipat sugar mill’s crushing capacity had been enhanced manifold, while there was no production of sugarcane of that volume in that area.

Batra also went on to allege that the government had allotted a molasses contract to a former minister whose family was into the business of molasses.

Neeraj Sharma, Congress MLA from Faridabad (NIT), alleged irregularities in the power sector, power billing, and public distribution system (PDS). He also raised the issue of drinking water facilities in his area.

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