Citing an increase in smuggling, the Andhra Pradesh government, on Thursday, cut down the prices of liquor in the state. Stating that liquor belonging to medium and premium categories is being increasingly smuggled from neighbouring states, due to the existing difference prices, the government announced the slash in rates. However, it is to be noted that the price slash is not applicable to ordinary liquor and beer. The liquor prices in Andhra Pradesh have been slashed between Rs 50 and Rs 1350 per bottle. The move has come into effect from Friday.
Reportedly, a total of 1211 cases of liquor were smuggled into the state in a month’s time, starting from 15 September. Of these, 630 were transported from Telangana, 546 from Karnataka, 24 from Odisha, and 11 from Tamil Nadu. As per a report by the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), the majority of the brands among the smuggled ones belong to the medium and premium categories due to the large differences between their prices in Andhra Pradesh and its neighbouring states. Pointing out that the prices of some brands in the state were almost double as compared to the same in Telangana and Karnataka, the report suggested a reduction of prices of liquor in Andhra Pradesh in order to prevent inter-border smuggling, which marked a remarkable rise in recent times.
On September 3, following a report submitted by the SEB, the state government cut down the prices of ordinary liquor to curb the inter-border smuggling. It may be recalled that in May this year, the Andhra Pradesh state government hiked liquor prices by 75 percent in a move that was targeted at discouraging the purchase of liquor amid the pandemic.