INDIAN STATE ANDHRA PRADESH MOVES CLOSER TO TOTAL PROHIBITION
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
As part of their campaign promise, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh has started a series of liquor control orders on 1st October that will eventually lead to total prohibition.
Started from Tuesday, one can't keep more than three bottles of liquor or six bottles of beer as it will now be punishable under the new excise policy.
The state government has also taken control of private liquor shops through the state-owned Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation Limited (APBCL) after reducing the number of outlets by 20 per cent from 4,380 to 3,500.
The business hours of wine shops have also been reduced. The shops will now open from 11 am to 8 pm compared to 10 am to 10 pm before.
Under the new rules, no liquor shop is supposed to be located within 100 meters of a place of worship, educational institution or a hospital. They should also not be visible from state or national highways.
The government has also hiked liquor prices by introducing an additional retail excise tax. The prices of Indian made foreign liquor, foreign liquor, beer, wine and ready-to-drink varieties have gone up by Rs 10 (USD0.14) to Rs 250.
APBCL will get four per cent commission on sales at the liquor shops. Some 3,500 supervisors, 8,033 salesmen have been recruited to run these shops.
To address women's complains regarding liquor consumption, the government has recruited 14,994 women constables in village and ward secretariats, which had become operational from yesterday.
The government claimed that their policies have reduced liquor sales by 15 per cent in the last four months since they assumed power in May.
Imposing total prohibition where liquor is only allowed in 5-star hotels was a key promise made by Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party during the election campaign.
(the writer can be contacted at: SLawMathews@thewinechronicle.com)
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