Vijayawada: Owing to prohibition of liquor in a phased manner in Andhra Pradesh, the AP government on Saturday issued a Government Order to reduce the number of liquor outlets by another 13 percent in the state.
The liquor outlets in the state are operated by the AP State Beverages Corporation Limited. The AP government issued an order to this effect on Saturday. With this, the number of liquor outlets will come down from the existing 3500 to 2,934.
It may be recalled that YSR Congress party government led by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy had reduced the number of shops by 20 percent thus minimizing it from 4,380 to 2, 934. The latest reduction effectively brings the overall reduction of shops in the state to 33 percent. The shops have been ordered to shut their business by the end of May.
The Andhra Pradesh government has hiked the prices of liquor by around 75 percent on May 5 after all the liquor outlets were allowed to reopen in the state following the Centre’s relaxations in some sectors from the ongoing lockdown.
The AP government claimed that the decision to hike the liquor prices and reduce the number of shops, asserting that this would discourage and dissuade people from alcohol consumption and thus safeguard their health.
In fact, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had in the election manifesto of YSRCP promised to prohibit liquor in a phased manner keeping in view its ill-effects on the welfare of families across the state.
Andhra Pradesh Government has committed itself to reducing Alcohol consumption in the state with a view to improve the physical quality of life of its people.
As a step in this direction Andhra Pradesh Government removed 43000 Belt shops spread across various villages, throughout the state.
Further, in order to ensure that there remain no belt shops in any village the Government removed private people from operating liquor shops.
The government has further taken a number of proactive steps to ensure its commitment towards the cause of reduction in alcohol consumption and moving towards better life.
A gathering area, right beside the liquor shop popularly known as “permit room” have been dispensed with.
The maximum possession limit of Liquor and Beer has been reduced to 3 bottles of any size. Laws have been enacted to ensure strict action in case of possession of liquor beyond a limit or sale of liquor illegally.
Business hours have been reduced from 10 am-10 pm to 11 am – 8 pm.
The government keeping in view of its avowed policy of reduction in alcohol consumption has reduced the number of shops from 4380 to 3500 and total operations of shops have been taken over by Government to ensure that there is no illegal sale. The A.P. State Beverages Corporation Limited was granted exclusive privilege to run these retail outlets in the State w.e.f. 01.10.2019 in public interest.
In order to discourage consumption of Liquor the price of liquor was increased to act as a deterrent. A tax in the form of ARET was levied
Further the Government issued orders to reduce bars by 40% from (840) to (530) which is subjudiced.
In order to create awareness among the public on the evils of consumption of liquor / intoxicants, the Madya Vimochana Prachara Committee was constituted and awareness programs are being conducted all over the State.
All the above measures taken up to reduce consumption of liquor in a phased manner have yielded positive results. For the period from Oct, 2019 to Mar, 2020 there is a drastic fall in the sale of liquor by 24% and that of beer by 55%.