The cash-starved Andhra Pradesh government, which is pinning its hope on the sale of liquor for additional revenue for supporting welfare programmes in the State, in order to generate more revenues has decided to allow malls and hyper markets to sell liquors. Announcing excise policy for 2015-17 at secretariat here on Monday, AP Excise Minister Kollu Ravindra said since liquor is being sold in malls and hyper markets like other commodities in all the metros and big cities, including Hyderabad, the government has decide to allow this in the State as well.
“This will help in maintaining quality of liquor. More liquor is sold in hyper markets than in wine shops,” he claimed. Stating that the government would monitor the liquors soled in malls and hypermarkets, the Excise Minister said these markets would ask to follow all the norms framed by the government. In an effort to develop the concept of micro breweries in the cities, the State government has decided to set up micro breweries units in the State, he said. “Micro breweries concept is catching up across the country. We too want to promote it in our cities,” he said.
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Stating that the setting up of one liquor shops run by government in all the mandals of the State would help in maintaining quality of the liquor and MRP, Ravindra said this would help in keeping checks and balances on the sale of liquor. About 10 per cent of the total 4,380 shops would be allotted to government, he said. “We have already identified the location of shops to be operated by the government. All the shops identified is in prime locations and have high sales,” he said.
The main important points are:
- The new licence will be valid for two years from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017.
- 10 per cent of the outlets will be managed by the State.
The new policy would fetch an additional revenue of 2,400 crore. Setting aside speculation that liquor will be sold alongside essential commodities, vegetables and consumer durables, the minister said that only shopping malls with 10,000 sq. ft. or more will be allowed to sell liquor. “Our survey found that there are 10 to 15 such shopping malls. The change has been brought in with a view to modernise retailing of IMFL and FL. I do not agree that we are taking liquor to the doorstep of the people. This will help keep check on quality.” Mr Ravindra said.