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Liquor sales down in AP; Govt begins cutting back on number of pvt outlets

Our Bureau Vijayawada | Updated on August 29, 2019

Liquor sales in Andhra Pradesh have come down substantially after the State government started cracking the whip on illegal outlets (belt shops). Soon the government is set to take over the liquor shops in a phased manner, according to officials.

During a review meeting at Amaravati on Excise, Revenue and Transport departments, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy told the officials that strict measures should be taken to check the flow of illicit liquor and policewomen should be employed in village secretariats for effective implementation of prohibition.

The officials said that liquor consumption had come down drastically due to the closure of belt shops or unauthorised outlets. Liquor sales in July had decreased 12 lakh cases when compared to the previous year figure. The number of liquor outlets would be reduced from 4,380 to 3,500 as a prelude to total prohibition.

At it shuts down private outlets, the Government will initially open 503 liquor shops through the State-run AP Beverages Corporation as a pilot project from September 1, the officials said.

Gearing up for the prohibition, the State would allocate ₹500 crore for setting up of de-addiction centres and for implementation of prohibition.

Meanwhile, there was a slump in commercial taxes and the estimated 14 per cent growth fell short by 5.3 per cent as the revenue was not generated on the expected lines during the past four months. The reasons for the fall in revenue could be due to reduced prices of iron and steel, the officials said.

Added to that even cement prices had come down, the officials said.

There is an anticipation of ₹597 crores in the form of GST and commercial taxes are likely to go up by 14 per cent, the Chief Minister was told.

Published on August 29, 2019

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