CPI takes stand against launch of casinos, lotteries

#dailynews60 : The CPI, a constituent of the Congress headed Secular Democratic Alliance in Puducherry, on Sunday opposed the government’s move to set up casinos and lotteries “in the garb of promoting tourism”.

A resolution registering the party’s strong protest against this move was passed at the CPI’s state council meet on Saturday, te party’s local unit Secretary A M Saleem said.

The resolutionfelt that promoting casinos would strike at the socio economic and cultural features of Puducherry.

Saleem said the party also felt that Chief Minister V Narayanasamy’s contention that casinos would be a source to mop up revenue to buttress the fiscal health of the Union Territory was “not acceptable and untenable”.

Already, the sale of liquor, extensive availability of ganja and tobacco products and flesh trade had been holding the Union Territory to ransom, he alleged.

“Nothing injurious to the cultural aspect of people should be promoted in the name of tourism,” the resolution said.

The weekend flow of tourists into Puducherry had been on the increase as evidenced by records maintained by the police.

The resolution also noted with concern the activities of anti-social elements like alleged extortion of money from businessmen and several othercrimes.

Setting up casinos would only aggravate the scenario and the government should immediately give up its move to have the casino and lottery scheme here as they would hit the cultural and ethical life of people, the resolution said.

The government should instead concentrate on encouraging small and medium enterprises to generate employment, it said.

Another resolution urged the territorial government to expedite collection of sales tax arrears due from merchants so that the fiscal position would improve fast.

The party also insisted that only rice be distributed under the free rice scheme, instead of adopting payment of cash through DBT as was being done now.