The Andhra Pradesh government has enhanced prices of liquor by another 50 per cent on Tuesday, only a day after imposing a 25 per cent hike as shops were reopened in relaxation of the ongoing lockdown.
Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) Rajat Bhargava said the abnormal increase in liquor rates was to 'discourage' people from consumption and safeguard health.
The enhanced rates would come into force with immediate effect, he said. The state government also decided to open liquor outlets from 12 noon, instead of 11 am, till 7 pm.
Sources said the fresh hike (50 per cent) in rates could fetch an additional revenue of Rs 9,000 crore per annum to the cash-starved state government.
The entire liquor business in AP is controlled by the state government through its own retail outlets, numbering 3,468. Sources said Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy directed that 15 per cent of the retail liquor shops be closed down by this month end.