The Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath has waged a long battle against both legal and illegal sale of liquor which drastically eats into household incomes and also is the cause of much violence especially gender based violence. However, given the Government's relentless promotion of both legal and illegal sale of liquor the campaigns against alcoholism have not made much headway even though the KMCS has tried to use the powers given to the Gram Sabha in Scheduled Tribal areas to control the sale of liquor. Now some villages have banned the sale of liquor during marriages and festivals and have also stopped the practice of gifting huge amounts of liquor during marriages. This is still an incipient campaign and it remains to be seen how long it sustains because in the past too many such campaigns have been launched only to fizzle out.
It would be edifying, however, to investigate why Governments generally promote alcoholism and garner huge amounts of money from the sale of liquor. The annual budget estimates for 2015-16 of the Madhya Pradesh Government show that the taxes to be raised by it are Rs 43,448 crores. In addition to this it is to receive Rs 30,450 crores as its share of the taxes raised by the Central Government. Thus its total tax revenues are Rs 73,898 crores. Whereas, the revenue expenditure on non-plan items, which are mainly the salaries paid to Government staff, law makers, ministers, judges and the like, administrative, travel and maintenance expenses are Rs 68,106 crores. The revenue expenditures on plan items which again are concerned with the salary, administrative, maintenace and travel expenses are Rs 40,729 crores. Thus, the cumulative revenue expenditures are Rs, 1,08,835 crores resulting in a revenue deficit of nearly Rs 35,000 crores in meeting the salary bill and other regular expenses of the government. The capital expenditure on the other hand is only Rs 19,040 crores leading to a cumulative deficit of about Rs 54,000 crores. This deficit is made up by central grants and loans, the latter being another albatross around the Government's neck. Since these are not sufficient to make up this deficit, the Government has to rely on non-tax revenue of which the proceeds from the sale of liquor licenses constitutes about 70%. This is the reason why the Government promotes the sale of liquor and it also gets another benefit in that the people drown their sorrows in liquor and so don't think of rebelling against its anti-people policies.
There is of course the matter of poor services being provided by the government staff, lawmakers, ministers and the judiciary despite so much expenditure on their salaries and allied heads. Capital expenditures are only a fifth of this huge revenue expenditure bill and so not much infrastructure is being developed by the Government. Unless the State is made more accountable to the people there is little hope of any worthwhile development taking place. Unfortunately, the moment a movement begins gaining in strength for demanding accountability from it, the Government uses its might to crush it. It remains to be seen how the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi can improve matters in this regard.