Andhra Pradesh govt takes control of 503 liquor shops as part of new policy
By The News Minute 02-Sep-2019
Under the policy, the state would take control of all existing liquor shops in the state in stages and phase them out over the next four years. The 503 shops being opened as part of the first phase are shops that had earlier been shut for not renewing their liquor licence. The excise department is in the process of taking over liquor shops in the state and have identified 777 of them so far.
The state intends to bring down the number of liquor shops from 4380 to 3500 and eventually phase them out. Once the policy comes into effect, all liquor shops in the state will be run by the Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL). The shops will operate from morning 10 am to 9 pm and will no longer be allowed to grant lodging facilities. The sale of unpackaged liquor will also not be allowed. The state will outsource the operations of these liquor shops and will recruit three persons for each shop.
The state government is also expected to take over operations of another 3000 liquor shops and reopen them on October 1.
The state government claims that the sale of liquor had come down since their crackdown on illegal outlets known as belt shops. A ban on liquor in the state was one of the poll promises of the ruling YSRCP. Liquor consumption in the state had come down since July by 12 lakh when compared to the 2018 figure, claimed officials at a review meeting with the state's Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The state government, however, has allocated only Rs 500 crore for setting up de-addiction centres and to implement the prohibition.
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