Vijayawada: Keeping up with the party's poll manifesto of liquor prohibition, the Andhra Pradesh government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan will implement the new liquor policy from October 1. Addressing a press conference on Saturday here deputy Chief Minister and Minister for excise and commercial taxes K. Narayana Swamy said that all wine shops will be shut by 9 pm.
The excise minister said already 475 wine shops have been taken into the fold of Beverages Corporation in October and the government would take control of the existing shops soon and arrangements to establish 3,500 government liquor stores is in line.
“AP Beverages Corporation will manage all alcohol shops. So far, 3,448 shops have been taken for lease. The alcohol shops will run between 10 am to 9 pm,” said Narayana Swamy.
Talking about employment generation, he said, the state has recruited 3,500 supervisors and 8,033 salesmen for the job, and every shops will have dedicated police officers and CCTV cameras installed.
“We have brought into the Chief Minister’s notice regarding the shortage of excise staff and propose to recruit 678 police constables. The CM has responded positively on this issue,” he added.
Taking a dig at former CM Chandrababu Naidu, he said that the TDP government viewed alcohol as a source of income for the state. The previous government has allowed functioning of 43,000 belt shops which were closed down after YS Jagan has taken over as CM, Swamy said.
"Till now, 2,872 cases were registered and 2,928 people were taken into custody for operating belt shops. The state has registered 4,788 cases on the brewing of illicit liquor and 2,834 people were arrested," he said.
He also said that the government will also establish de-addiction centers at state-run hospitals.
The minister also said that the government is steadfast with its resolve to solve women's problem due to alcohol. The government will give alternate employment for those who are dependent on alcohol shops, he said.