The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has once again crossed swords with the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government of which it is a part, this time hitting out against the proposed introduction of a central bonded warehouse (CBW) for alcohol distribution.
The setting up of a CBW had been agreed in a cabinet meeting earlier this week. The BJP has one member in the cabinet.
In a press release today, BJP state President Ernest Mawrie said that his party is “strongly opposed” to the introduction of a CBW as it will not benefit the existing 44 bonded warehouse owners, “but will greatly benefit only four owners who will control the entire system of supply” in the state.
The government said that a CBW will allow existing bonded warehouses to make their purchases more easily from within Meghalaya itself rather than having to place orders with a multitude of producers.
Mawrie said that Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had abolished their own CBWs after it was found that “it was not helping the needs of the state as only a few were benefiting out of it.”
He added that “political bosses” end up making the most profit out of such arrangements, which leads to a “mafia system of functioning”.
The BJP “does not want Meghalaya to become a mafia ruled state as it is turning into one with scams erupting from [autonomous district] councils, coal, electricity bills, etc,” Mawrie said. “And now Central Bonded Warehouse will turn into another corruption and destruction of the state.”