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Andhra Pradesh to Reduce Retail Liquor Outlets to 2,934 by End of May

Image for representation.  (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Image for representation. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Retail liquor business in the state is currently run by the government, through the AP State Beverages Corporation Limited,

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: May 9, 2020, 10:03 PM IST
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After hiking liquor price by 75% early this week, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to reduce the number of retail liquor outlets by a further 13% to 2,934 by the end of this month to curtail alcohol consumption and help people "move towards a better life".

Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) Rajat Bhargava said the government has also taken a number of steps to check illicit distillation of liquor and inter-state trade of non-duty paid liquor.

The state government has now also decided to constitute an independent Special Enforcement Bureau to deal with illicit liquor, with special focus on districts bordering neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana.

Retail liquor business in the state is currently run by the government, through the AP State Beverages Corporation Limited, and the number of outlets was brought down to 3,500 from 4,380 in August last year. With the latest decision, the number will drop further to 2,934, said Bhargava.

The state government early this week increased liquor prices by 75% when shops were opened following easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

"The government has taken a number of pro-active steps to further its commitment to reduce alcohol consumption and help people move towards a better life. It has been creating awareness among people on the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and the serious health burden it imposed. The reduction in the number of outlets is to restrict the availability of liquor and safeguard public health," Bhargava said in an order.

He pointed out that the government eliminated a staggering 43,000 'belt shops' (illegal liquor vends) spread across the villages in the state after the new liquor policy came into force last August.

"We have also reduced the number of bars by 40 per cent, from 840 to 530, but the matter is now sub-judice. The good thing is, sale of liquor fell drastically by 24 per cent and beer by 55 per cent between October 2019 and March 2020," Bharagava said.

He said the government has also taken a number of steps to check illicit distillation of liquor and inter-state trade of non-duty paid liquor.

Now, the state government has also decided to constitute an independent Special Enforcement Bureau to deal with illicit liquor, with special focus on districts bordering neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana.


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