AP to focus on full-fledged liquor ban

Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh government is taking full-scale measures towards bringing in prohibition on liquor sale in a phased manner in the State.

The number of wine shops is being reduced by 20 per cent every year and their number had already come down from 4,380 to 3,500. Similarly, the number of bars is reduced from 839 to 487 and additional excise retail tax is levied to hike the prices of liquor in a bid to discourage consumption of alcohol. Also, the liquor sales timings are reduced and it would now be sold only between 11 am and 8 pm.

Excise Minister Narayanaswami told the Assembly on Tuesday that the previous Telugu Desam Party government was responsible for as many as 43,000 belt shops or unauthorised sales counters. But the YSR Congress Party government, after coming to power, scrapped all the belt shops. “While the TDP government viewed liquor as a source of revenue, Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy saw how the families were ruined due to liquor and the suffering of women. We have set up a ‘Madyavimochana prachara’ committee and are making efforts to distance people from the evil of alcohol,” he said.

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