Telangana Too May Open Liquor Stores; Decision Likely After Cabinet Meeting

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HYDERABAD: The Telangana government is expected to reopen liquor outlets soon with some restrictions across the state.  The decision is likely to be discussed at the Cabinet meeting which will be held from 2 pm on Tuesday, April 5th at the Pragathi Bhavan here.

With the sale of liquor restarting in the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh following lockdown relaxations announced by the Centre, the Telangana government too is reportedly weighing in favour of opening the doors again for liquor sale in the state.

Another aspect that is reportedly hastening the state government into this decision is the possibility of a spurt in liquor smuggling from the neighbouring states which also increases the risk of further spread of Coronavirus in the state. Coupled with these is the revenue that is being lost on account of not allowing liquor sale is certainly forcing the state government into a quick rethink on the issue. Official sources say that the state government might resume liquor sales which seem inevitable due to the above reasons.

As per sources the excise department officials have been asked to prepare a comprehensive report on the number of liquor shops in the Red, Orange and Green zones and the stock available.

The government initially may consider opening in non-containment areas while making it a strict ‘no no’ in the containment areas in accordance with the Centre’s latest guidelines on lockdown relaxations.

However, with the virus spreading in the districts of Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Medchal and Vikarabad, opening liquor stores in these districts appears to be a remote possibility. This was due to the recommendations of the state medical department that there should be no form of relaxation in these areas.

Excluding those four districts, liquor stores are likely to reopen in 29 districts of the state except for the areas under containment zones from any time between May 6 and 8 in the state. The liquor stock is likely to be shifted from Tuesday onwards but clarity is awaited which is only possible post the meeting of the state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao on Tuesday.

Also Read: AP Govt Effects Another 50% Hike In Liquor Prices; Reduces Business Hours

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