VIJAYAWADA: The State government has once again permitted the AP Beverages Corporation Limited (APBCL) to extend the timing of retail liquor shops by an hour. This means liquor shops (wine shops) will remain open till 10 pm.
As per its policy of imposing total prohibition in the State in a phased manner, the YSRC government had earlier fixed the timings of wine shops from 11 am to 8 pm. It may be recalled that in July 2020, the State government issued a memo permitting the APSBCL to keep the liquor shops open till 9 pm.
The government said the one-hour extension was given for finalisation of accounts and integration of sale proceeds with the Comprehensive Financial Management System (CFMS), reconciliation of stocks and cash on the same day after 8 pm, but not for the sale of liquor. However, all the wine shops in the State have been selling liquor till 9 pm.
The APSBCL has once again sought extension of timing of the liquor shops and the government issued a memo on Monday giving permission to the Corporation to keep the shops open till 10 pm. Avoiding long queues in front of the wine shops, which hinders physical distancing, is also cited as one of the reasons for extending the working hours of liquor shops.
“The government accorded permission to keep the retail outlets open till 10 pm (extended by one hour), keeping in view the Covid-19 guidelines and in order to complete the accounting procedures etc. Accordingly, all the depot managers are directed to conduct business transactions till 10 pm for completion of accounting procedures, reconciliation of cash and stock etc, on a daily basis with immediate effect,’’ the APSBCL said in a memo to the depot managers.