COVID-19: Andhra Pradesh govt hikes liquor prices by another 50 per cent

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The Andhra Pradesh government has raised prices of liquor by another 50 per cent, taking the total overall hike in the price of liquor to 75 per cent.

 

The revised rates comes only a day after the state govt imposed a 25 per cent hike as shops were reopened in relaxation of the ongoing lockdown.

As per the report, the enhanced rates would come into force with immediate effect.

Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) Rajat Bhargava said the abnormal increase in liquor rates was to 'discourage' people from consumption and safeguard health.

"We are taking the measure to open liquor shops in the State for revenue consideration but the government is concerned about the bad effects of alcohol consumption. Our Chief Minister is very much concerned about the evil effects of consumption so we are imposing prohibition tax on that, the amount will be decided soon," Bhargava had said.

"Government of Andhra Pradesh is already committed to eradicating alcohol in the long term. All standalone shops will be opened from tomorrow, outside the containment zone. No shop in the malls will be allowed to operate. About 3,500 shops will be opened in the State," he added.

As per the report, the liquor shops should strictly adhere to certain guidelines including maintaining social distancing. Only five persons will be allowed at a shop at one point of time. If the number of customers increases, the shops will be closed temporarily.

According to the official report, the state government decided to open liquor outlets from 12 noon, instead of 11 am, till 7 pm.

The entire liquor business in AP is controlled by the state government through its own retail outlets, numbering 3,468.

Sources said the fresh hike (50 per cent) in rates could fetch an additional revenue of Rs 9,000 crore per annum to the cash-starved state government.

Sources said Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy directed that 15 per cent of the retail liquor shops be closed down by this month end.
 

With inputs from Agency

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