Chennai: Refuting the opposition DMK charge that the state government has effected an indirect tax upon the common man by enhancing the bus fare, state transport minister M. R. Vijayabaskar said the government undertook the responsibility of hiking the salaries of transport corporation employees besides settling pension for about 60,000 retired staff.
Blaming the previous DMK government for enacting a farce on the bus fare hike, the minister said the then DMK government had increased the fares in 1997.
“Despite the increase, bus fares continue to be the lowest compared to the existing fare in other states,” he added. Initiating a debate on the budget, DMK member and former state minister S. Raghupathy alleged that the State government was losing revenue as it had not auctioned the Tasmac bars in Pudukottai district. “The government could have realised a revenue of `300 crore per year,” he maintained.
Dismissing his charge as baseless, electricity and prohibition minister P. Thangamani said all the 6,000 Tasmac outlets having bar facility, in the state, fetched a revenue of Rs 436 crore. “The member wants the outlets to be auctioned, does that mean the DMK does not want prohibition to be enforced in Tamil Nadu?” Thangamani asked.
“Auctioning the outlets would mean employment to many and additional revenue to the state,” Raghupathy replied....