In the first step towards prohibition in Andhra Pradesh in a phased manner, the government will take over the liquor trade at retail stores across the State starting from Tuesday, bringing down the total number of stores by 20%.
About 3,500 liquor shops run by the State’s A.P. State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL) will be opened on Tuesday and the Excise Policy for the year 2019-20 will come into force.
Earlier, there were 4,380 shops run by private license holders, and following the announcement of the new liquor policy, some of them have not renewed their licenses after September 1.
In the meantime, the Prohibition and Excise (P&E) Department’s APSBCL, which was given the exclusive privilege of selling through retail stores, has opened few stores in every district. In an amendment made in the last minute to the Andhra Pradesh Excise (Grant of Licence of selling by Shop and conditions of licence) Rules, 2019, the government reduced the business hours of the shops from 11 hours to 9 hours. In a G.O issued on Monday, it was stated that shops will be open between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. only. Earlier, the closing time was fixed at 9 p.m.
In a release, the government said liquor sales came down by 15% between July and September after the new policy was announced.
As per the rules, no liquor shop is supposed to be located within 100 m of a place of public worship, educational institution and hospital with at least 30 beds.
The stores should sell liquor at MRP and issue bills accordingly besides prominently displaying the price list at the store.
No permit room is allowed and consumption on the store premises is prohibited.