VIJAYAWADA:The State government is yet to decide whether to run the liquor shops by itself or to continue the present system of licensing private shops and bars to do so. A decision to this effect will be taken in the new excise policy likely to be announced in the last week of May.
Minister for excise Kollu Ravindra, who made a surprise inspection of excise department office here Tuesday, said the draft excise policy, being readied now, will explain the state’s take on the issue. A special team is being sent to Kerala to study the excise policy there.
He said he made the surprise inspection to ensure better performance from the officials and see that no one is resorting to corrupt practices. “I want the department, which had earned a dubious distinction in the past regime, transformed into a responsible one,” he said.
Excise officials had explained to minister that the sale of liquor in the district has grown by 1.3 per cent and the monthly sales in Vijayawada itself are Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore on an average. When the minister enquired about illicitly distilled (ID) liquor in the district, he was informed that baring Vijayawada, Machilipatnam and Gudivada, it is prevalent in several parts of the district.
Asking the officials to take tough stance against the ID liquor brewers, he appealed to people not to consume ID liquor, as it is harmful.