Fri, 29 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], November 25 (ANI): Jharkhand Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President and Rajya Sabha MP Deepak Prakash on Thursday welcomed the decision of the Jharkhand Governor to return the Excise Amendment Bill on November 22 after three months of deliberation and asked the Hemant Soren-led government to immediately withdraw the Bill in the interest of 3.5 crore people of the state.

Speaking to ANI, he said that the Jharkhand Excise Amendment Bill was in the interest of the liquor vendors and killing the revenue of the state and that is why the state BJP was continuously opposing the Bill from street to State Assembly.

"Governor has taken a welcome and a bold step in returning the Excise Amendment Bill. BJP believes that this bill, in its present form, gives protection to the corrupt people" Prakash told ANIBJP Rajya Sabha MP Deepak Prakash further slammed the Jharkhand government for passing Excise Amendment Bill and sent the same for the approval of the Governor.

"It is a matter of great misfortune that this Bill has harmed the state and such things were included in the Bill and ultimately, it is going to harm people living in Jharkhand and also those associated with the liquor industry, trade, and employment. Because of this Bill, the State is incurring a huge revenue loss and that is why, the State government should withdraw it," he added.

After three months of deliberations, the Governor sent the Bill back on Tuesday (November 22), directing the government to go through the provisions in different states and take the views of the revenue council on the same.

Stating that the amendments made in the Jharkhand Excise (Amendment) Bill-2022 "is seen as to be an attempt to protect officers of any criminal or unconstitutional activities", Governor Ramesh Bais returned the Bill, asking for reconsideration. After the excise Bill was passed by the Jharkhand Assembly, the government had sent it to the Governor for assent in August.

"With the amendments in the new Bill, only local workers, who operate the shops, will be held responsible. However, the entire accountability lies with these agencies and it is important that the Corporation should also monitor the activities...This arrangement is seen as an attempt to protect criminal or unconstitutional activities of officials of the corporation and the agencies," the Governor said, as per the file notings.

Taking a swipe at the Soren-led Jharkhand government, BJP leader Pratul Shahdeo said that when this government came to power, it had said that it will review the excise policy and introduce a new policy because they thought the old model of the BJP Government was not yielding enough excise revenue. But what is actually happening is that their own Excise Commissioner is writing letters and saying that there is a shortfall of almost 40 per cent in meeting the targets in the excise in the new policy which has been introduced by the government.

Governor had differences of opinion on eight points. He is the custodian and head of the state. So, he has every right to tell the state government where they are erring. The Governor's main objection was if there is any wrongdoing at the liquor shop only the fourth-grade workers will be held responsible not even the shopkeeper, not even the agency which has taken the tender. And not even the government officers who are in the corporation. I think they are just trying to find a scapegoat to protect the big fish. So, this was the main objection of the governor and he has written and returned the excise bill and this is a big slap upon the state govt.

Governor has every right to ask the government to reconsider if he thinks that certain provisions of the law are not in consideration with the constitution or not in tune with the laws. So he has every right to return. He has raised a very serious issue. (ANI)

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