HYDERABAD: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who had banked on sale of liquor to fill the coffers during his earlier stint as CM of undivided AP by abolishing prohibition in 1996, seems to be once again considering liquor as a good source of income for the cash-starved State.
Akin to the Varuni Vahini scheme run by NT Rama Rao’s government in 1986 in AP, during which arrack was sold by peddlers at every nook and cranny of the State with the help of government, Naidu too appears to be moving towards setting up of government-run retail outlets to sell alcoholic beverages on the lines of Tamil Nadu.
Proving this, the State Cabinet meeting, chaired by Naidu here on Friday, reportedly favoured a new excise policy for wholesale and retail vending of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) on the lines of Tamil Nadu to check pilferage and streamline the trade, besides filling the coffers.
According to sources, when the issue came up for discussion in the Cabinet meeting, a a majority of the ministers favoured TN model of excise policy, where the government runs the liquor shops.
The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Ltd (TASMAC) has the exclusive privilege of wholesale and retail vending of IMFL in that state. District revenue officers supervise depots, retail shops and bars attached to them with the help of shop supervisors and assistant salesmen.
Briefing newsmen on the Cabinet decisions, IT Minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy said, “We are planning to run liquor shops like Tamil Nadu and appoint three employees in each shop to run the business transparently and efficiently.”
According to him, the government is studying the excise policies of TN, Karnataka and Kerala governments before finalising the new policy of the State. “We want to come out with an excise policy which would not only check the illicit liquor trade but also increases revenue to the State,” Reddy said.
Naidu Fires Salvos at TS Govt
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has once again flew off the handle at the Telangana government, saying that the KCR government is in no mood to cooperate with AP on any issue. “The Telangana government is still trying to annoy us on every issue. Even now, it wants to cash in on Telangana sentiment by igniting regional passions,” he said. He also called upon the people of the state to observe ‘Nava Nirmana Deeksha’ on June 2, to rededicate themselves to the reconstruction of the state.