TADEPALLI : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy here on Tuesday held a review meeting on the government's decision to impose prohibition in phases and directed the officials to reduce the number of existing bars by 50% . However, when officials pointed out that as prohibition was being imposed in phases, bars will be reduced by 40% in this phase.

Speaking on the occasion, minister for excise Narayana Swamy said It was decided to impose time restrictions to bars. Now bars will be open from 11am to 10pm and food would be allowed till 11pm. Bars in star hotels would be allowed to be open from 11am to 11pm. The government also proposes to increase the rates of liquor in the bars.

Heavy penalty would be imposed against bootleggers and non-bailable cases would be booked against them. All the bars would be closed by January and new licences would be issued on lottery basis. Severe action would be initiated against bar owners who resort to anomalies. He said the four micro-breweries would function as usual.

The Minister asked the opposition leaders to cooperate with the Chief Minister to carry forward the decision to impose prohibition. In this connection, he reminded how NTR imposed prohibition. Check posts have been started in the border areas where CC cameras have also been arranged.

He questioned the comments being made by Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh to make their stand clear on the imposition of prohibition as they were making senseless comments on the issue.

The minister ridiculed the stand taken by Chandrababu Naidu on the introduction of English medium at the primary school level. He asked if the sons of political leaders who were opposing the policy were not studying in English medium schools.

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