Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has taken another step towards the liquor ban, which was promised during his Padayatra ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections. This time, the radar is on the bars throughout the state. A review meeting, with officials over the revenue of the State Government, was held at the Tadepalli Camp Office on Thursday. The officials presented information related to revenue generated from liquor stores to the Chief Minister.
Mr. Reddy has ordered to reduce the number of bars in AP. The order is expected to come into effect from January 1, 2020. Officials have been instructed that bars should not be present within the vicinity of residential places and school zones. Under the new rules, the bars in Andhra Pradesh will be allowed to serve liquor only from 11 am to 10 pm.
Previously, the Andhra Pradesh State Government had taken a major towards its agenda of liquor ban in the state. The retail liquor outlets were taken over by the government and the liquor prices were increased, in order to discourage consumption. Adding to the prices, the Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation Limited (APBCL) also levied a four percent commission from the stores. With this move, the number of outlets came down by 20 percent. According to officials, the number of stores had dropped to 3,500 from 4,380. The government even banned the consumption of liquor at wine shops to avoid inconvenience to people living within the proximity. The rules stated that a liquor store should not be in a 100-meter radius of an educational institution, or place of worship, and should not be visible from a national highway.
3,500 supervisors and 8,033 salesmen were recruited to run these shops. To address women’s complaints, regarding liquor consumption, the government recruited, 14,994 women constables in village and ward secretariats. At the time when the rules were enforced in October, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced in May that liquor prohibition would be enforced in phases. He added that the consumption of liquor will be confined to five-star hotels only.