Going to be effective from today, the new liquor policy is the new big thing in the state. As the first step towards achieving the liquor ban, the Andhra Pradesh government has cracked the whip on the liquor trade, bringing down the total number of stores by 20%. Taking almost 3,500 liquor shops into the control of A.P. State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL), the government is all set to levy Additional Retail Excise Tax (ARET) on sale of alcohol from Tuesday. Above all the new policy restricts buyers from buying more than three bottles of liquor or six bottles of beer.
Though it was announced that the liquor shops would remain open till 9 PM earlier, the timing was brought down and now the shops will officially remain close by 8 PM. The new policy also made sure that permit rooms at the wine shops have to be removed to control the disturbances to the people living in the vicinity. Also, 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. About 14,994 constables in villages and ward secretariats are recruited to keep a watch on the local liquor shops.
In a GO issued on Monday, the additional tax will be levied on the price of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), Foreign Liquor, Beer, Wine and ready-to-drink varieties on a flat rate per bottle. Cost of beer will be hiked by Rs 10 for 330 ml and Rs 2,000 for 50,000 ml. Ready-to-drink varieties will be available at an additional cost of Rs 20.