Liquor lobbies of AP push Jagan Govt to open stores from today despite lockdown

The Andhra Pradesh government said it will resume sale of liquor from its outlets from Monday but will impose a new "prohibition tax" to discourage people from consuming alcoholic beverages.

The prohibition tax could be up to 25 percent on the existing prices, Special Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Rajat Bhargava, said.

The entire liquor business in Andhra Pradesh is currently under the control of the state government, with the AP State Beverages Corporation operating the retail outlets.

"Liquor shops will remain open from 11 am to 7 pm across the state, except in the COVID-19 containment zones and clusters.

Bars, clubs and AP Tourism Development Corporation outlets will, however, not be permitted to run the liquor business, Bhargava told a news conference here.

Only five customers would be allowed at a shop at a time, duly following the physical distancing norms.
While liquor sale is being resumed, the state government's policy is to discourage people from consuming liquor, Bhargava said.

The state government has permitted breweries and distilleries in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Prakasam, SPS Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Kurnool districts to resume production.

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