Vijayawada: A day after reopening the liquor outlets in non-containment zones in the state, the Andhra Pradesh government has given another jolt to tipplers as it increased the liquor prices by another 50 per cent from Tuesday. On Monday when it reopened the shops after the lockdown, the government increased the prices by 25 per cent, thus taking the total hike to 75 per cent.
The YSR Congress leaders claimed that the rise in liquor prices was to discourage people from consumption of liquor and reduce the sales, as part of their liquor policy. “We are also planning to reduce the number of liquor outlets by 15 per cent by May 2020,” they added.
The prohibition and excise department officials said an additional retail excise tax (ARET) between `40 and `120 (depending on the brand of liquor) was imposed on 180 ml of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).
The same amount of tax will be applicable for foreign liquor (FL). For a full bottle liquor (750 ml) the ARET was in between `160 and `480 on IMFL and FL.
On beer, the government imposed an additional tax of `40 on a 330 ml bottle, `60 on 500 or 650 ml, `4,000 on 30,000 ml and `6,000 on 50,000 ml.
After studying the situation prevailing at the liquor shops on Monday, the government increased the prices further with a view to keep the boozers away from the purchase.
Long queues were witnessed outside the liquor outlets across the state on Monday when the shops were reopened after 40 days of lockdown.
Thousands of people lined up to purchase the stock without following the social distancing rule so much so that the police were unable to manage the heavy crowds at the outlets.
On Monday alone, liquor worth `45 crore was sold. The liquor shops will open on Tuesday from 2 pm in the state and boozers have to shell out extra bucks for to buy their favourite brands.