VIJAYAWADA: Bars in the state are likely to open from Saturday for the first time since March 22. The state government on Friday granted permission for this, but with a catch. They will have to pay a ‘Covid fee’ on each bar license, which will be 20 per cent of the base license fee and non-refundable registration charge. Licenses will be renewed from September 19 to June 30, 2021 for all 840 bars provided they pay the Covid fee and license fee.
However, the government, considering a request of the AP Wine Dealers Association, said the licence fee and non-refundable registration charge with 10 per cent increase for the lockdown period from March 22, 2020 to June 30, (101 days) will be adjusted towards future licence fee and nonrefundable registration charge payable for the period from September 19 to June 30, 2021. Special Chief Secretary (Commercial Taxes and Excise) Rajath Bhargava said that instructions have been issued to excise officials in all districts to allow bars to reopen once the fees are paid.
‘Will hamper business’
The wine dealers association said the revised liquor tariff will hamper their business as customers will have to pay more. A `200 beer bottle will be sold at `250, they said