VIJAYAWADA:The state government is making efforts to control the flow of Illicitly Distilled (ID) liquor from across the border during Godavari Maha Pushkarams (GMP), which will be attended by several lakhs of people.
Speaking to mediapersons here Friday, Excise Minister Kollu Ravindra said smuggling of ID liquor was noted more in villages bordering Khammam district of Telangana and control measures are being contemplated. However, he said the government had not yet taken any decision pertaining to control of liquor sales during Godavari Pushkarams.
The minister said the exercise of drafting a new excise policy for the reorganised state is still in progress and will be ready by month end. He said already several teams have been engaged to study best practices and excise policies of different states and he himself would be part of one such team. “We are looking into the excise policies of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Delhi,” he said.
On being pointed out the excess amount being charged over the MRP in liquor sales, he maintained that enforcement agencies are addressing the problem. He said on an average 5-6 cases are being booked and action taken in this regard.
In regard to civil supplies godown being used as liquor stock points, the minister did not find any problem with it. “What is wrong in using godowns on payment. paddy or liquor, it is a commodity,” he said. Asked about IT dues and government’s effort to evade the payment, he said the issue is in court and he expects it to be resolved shortly. “If not, we will take it up with the Central government,” he said.
The IT department had seized APBCL godowns and the government started using the government godowns and some private ones as stock points. The minister said the IT problem is not confined to Andhra Pradesh alone; other states in South India are also facing similar problems. It is estimated that APBCL had to pay an income tax of `7,000 crore since 2004.
Ravindra, who also holds the portfolio of BC Welfare, said for the first time the State government had come out with a BC Sub-Plan and allocated `6,600 crore. He said with the Singapore government ready with plans for the first phase of the state capital, it will improve the development prospects of the region.
He said 220 km long outer ring road connecting Gudur, Pamur, Tenali, Chilakaluripeta and others. “Port development at Machilipatnam and Vadarevu is also part of the capital city development.