Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel Friday said that the state government is “resolute” that regardless of the revenue from excise tax lost, the state will continue to uphold its Prohibition Law and stick to the ban on alcohol in the state. Patel, who was in Vadodara to inaugurate a branch of the Mehsana Urban Cooperative bank at Manjalpur in the city, was speaking at the sidelines of the event.
Stating that Gujarat is has been “maintaining security, peace, law, and order due to alcohol ban”, Patel said, “No matter how much revenue has to be lost, including that from the excise tax, Gujarat will stick to the ban on alcohol because it is the legacy and heritage of the Gujarat that belonged to (Mahatma) Gandhi and Sardar (Vallabhbhai Patel). The other states can earn as much revenue as they do because of the free sale of liquor but not Gujarat. The ban is being strictly enforced and in cases where a large quantity of liquor is seized from under the jurisdiction of any police station, a disciplinary provision like transfer and suspension of duty of the police officer concerned has also been made.”
When asked about his recent remark that India could follow the Constitution only because it is a Hindu-majority country, Patel said, “Everyone should feel proud about Bharat Mata, National Flag and national symbols. There is nothing wrong in Hindus, Muslims and Christians being proud of their respective religions. They have the right to be proud of their caste, society, village, state, and nation.”
Patel also said that the state government has been at the forefront for cow protection. “The service to cows is our sacramental duty… Gujaratis have been donating crores for service to cows and also cow protection. The state government has made legal provisions of service and security and cow breeding schemes have been implemented.”
The minister further said also said that members of a cooperative society have the right to ask questions to monitor the functioning of the society. Earlier, while inaugurating the 58th branch of the Mehsana Urban Cooperative bank, which includes a locker room and ATM, Patel said, “The Mehsana Urban Bank is the second-largest co-operative bank in Gujarat with the opening of its 58th branch, which is a matter of pride. The state government’s interest subsidy scheme was introduced by the bank at a time when businesses in the state were stagnant due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only did the bank give loans to small traders, but also artisans were given low-interest loans.”
Narmada Development Minister Yogesh Patel, who is also MLA of Manjalpur, requested the bank management to dole out loans of Rs 10,000 to vegetable vendors of the area in order to help them financially, which was immediately accepted by the bank.