Congress terms Cabinet decisions anti-people

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Shimla, Feb 22 (UNI) The Himachal Congress today termed the Prem Kumar Dhumal Government's decision of 25 per cent increase in passenger fares in HRTC buses and make liquor cheaper by reducing VAT and licence fee on it ''anti-people''.

''The government's intent could very easily gauged from the fact that while it had increased the bus fares by 25 per cent, it had reduced VAT and license fee on liquor, which had been made cheaper,'' HP Congress Committee (HPCC) president Viplove Thakur told UNI here.

She said 25 per cent hike in fares would adversely affect the common man dearly as they were dependent on buses for travelling in the state in the absence of other modes of transportation.

Since their transportation costs would increase, they would have to cut on their expenses on food and health, Mr Thakur said.

The HPCC president said, on the other hand, it had made liquor cheaper by reducing VAT on it from 20 per cent to 12.5 per cent and licence fee from Rs 160 to Rs 125 on IMFL bottle and from Rs 130 to Rs 95 on county liquor, which was ''unfortunate''.

The government would have done well not to reduce VAT and licence fee on liquor as it was used by a section of society only, as against widespread use of buses in the state, she opined.

UNI AS JN KD BST2043

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