Liquor shops to close at 6 pm in Andhra

With the State government set to bring in a new policy to initially regulate and later impose prohibition on the sale of liquor in Andhra Pradesh, the Excise department is deliberating on various proposals to implement the same.
From the government taking care of the sales to cutting down the number of business hours of retail shops, different proposals are being studied by the department. 
According to sources, the department is likely to entrust a government-owned entity (a corporation) with the selling of liquor, akin to Tamil Nadu policy. This, they say, will not only make it easier for the government to implement a phased ban but would also help in cracking down on belt shops.
“Another idea is to restrict the hours of sale. Now, the sales go on from 10 am to 10 pm. Bringing it down to eight hours will help. We are still discussing if it is feasible to begin the sale later than the current timings or to close the shops early,” an official noted.
There are over 4,300 wine shops and about 800 bars in the State. However, it is learnt, that officials feel closing the shops early — by 6 pm or 7 pm — will be desirable.
“Since the target of prohibition is to help the poor come out of the clutches of addiction, it is ideal if we end the sale by sunset. Usually, daily wage workers toil in the day and spend almost all their income on alcohol on their way home. This way, the money they earn won’t be spent immediately on liquor,” a senior official reasoned, adding, “The idea is still at preliminary stage.”
If the sale is restricted, the officials said, it may once again give a chance for the rise of belt shops. “A few people may stock it up to sell in black market. So, we are studying the implications and will take a decision. We are also studying the policies being implemented in other States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat where liquor sale restriction or prohibition is in place,” the official noted

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