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Andhra Govt Announces Liquor Prohibition After Crackdown on Illegal Belt Shops

As the state government is set to implement a total prohibition, the number of liquor outlets is expected to reduce to 3,500 from 4,380 — a 20 percent fall.

Syed Ahmed | News18

Updated:August 29, 2019, 11:50 AM IST
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Andhra Govt Announces Liquor Prohibition After Crackdown on Illegal Belt Shops
File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
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Amravati: Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday announced a policy to discourage liquor sales in the state after cracking the whip on illegal outlets.

In a review meeting of the excise, revenue and transport departments, chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy told officials to take measures to check the flow of illicit liquor. He also called for deploying women police officers in village secretariats for effective implementation of the same.

Officials said that liquor consumption in the state had gone down significantly following the closure of illegal belt shops. July 2019 saw a decrease of 12 lakh cases of illegal liquor consumption than the previous year's figure.

As the state government is set to implement a total prohibition, the number of liquor outlets is expected to reduce to 3,500 from 4,380 — a 20 percent fall.

As a pilot for the project, the government will initially open 503 shops from September 1, officials said. A total of Rs 500 crore has been earmarked for setting up de-addiction centres, among other measures.

Jaganmohan Reddy, in his 3,648 km-long marathon padyatra in January this year had promised a prohibition on liquor. He had announced that within five years, sale of liquor will be confined only to Star Hotels.

After the Jagan administration came to power, a bill allowing the government to take over all liquor shops was passed in the Legislative Assembly.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh is experiencing a deficit of 5.3 percent in the estimated 14 percent economic growth due to a slump in commercial taxes. Officials have attributed the fall in revenue to reduced prices of iron, steel and cement.

The chief minister was earlier told that a 14 percent growth in state revenue was anticipated, with Rs 597 crore to be received in the form of GST and commercial taxes.

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