The mission to make Andhra Pradesh go dry gradually by 2024 is one of the key objectives of the Jaganmohan Reddy government. And Phase One seems to have gone as desired. And unlike Kerala, where there was a hue and cry when the government decided to impose prohibition, there has been no opposition to Jagan’s decision.
The government claims it has completely eliminated the illegal belt shops – from 43000 to zero – and the permit rooms attached to the bars – from 4380 to zero. But the bigger challenge will be to regulate timings and reduce the number of liquor shops every year. Now from the original timing of 10 am to 10 pm, which would often extend up till midnight with private players looking to increase sales, the shops will be open only from 11 am to 8 pm. The excise department says it is committed to sell liquor only at MRP rates.
The government has completely taken over the liquor business and reduced the number of outlets from 4380 to 3450, a 20 per cent decrease. The number would be progressively reduced to make it zero by 2024.
This has had an effect on the liquor sales. As opposed to 129 lakh cases that were sold in June to September 2018, the same period in 2019 saw the sale of 105 lakh cases, a 18 per cent reduction.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh