VIJAYAWADA: Claiming that the efforts of the state government to phase out the sale of liquor were yielding results, the Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Ltd (APSBCL) said that the sales of beer have significantly come down by 56.4 per cent in October this year compared to the corresponding month last year. Overall, the corporation said, the liquor sales fell by 27 per cent this month.
“While 32.28 lakh cases of liquor were sold in October, 2018, in the corresponding period this year, 23.60 lakh cases were sold. The beer sales have drastically come down from 23.86 lakh cases in last October to 10.40 lakh cases now,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said on Saturday.
The corporation said that bringing down the number of wine shops from 4,380 last year to 3,500 this year, besides trimming down the business hours of the shops by three hours, were the reason for the ‘decrease in consumption and sales’. Another factor that helped in ‘regulation’ of sales, the officials noted, was removing permit rooms at wine shops.
Furthermore, the statement said that strict enforcement helped in removal of all the belt shops across the State. “The excise officials have stepped up vigil in areas where there is scope for operating belt shops. The police too are directly in contact with the heads of the villages to ensure no illegal sale of liquor. Making police, women and village secretariat officials a part of phased prohibition is yielding results,” the statement read.
For the record, the YSRC government has strategised to phase out wine shops by 20 per cent annually over the next five years. APSBCL took over the retail trade of liquor from October 1.
The State government is also mulling to bring down the number of bars across the 13 districts, as it aims to enforce prohibition in the State in phases.