HYDERABAD: The State government has come up with a Neera policy and the first Neera parlour will be set up near Tank Bund in Hyderabad in a couple of months.
Making the announcement during a press meet here on Wednesday, Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud said the State government and Tourism Department would promote Neera as the State’s traditional drink. Neera, or palm nectar, is a sweet, translucent sap extracted from the inflorescence of various species of toddy palms and used as a drink. The Neera parlour will be on the lines of multinational chain stores and at a later stage, will be extended to all districts.
The raw material for the drink would be collected from Bhongir, Aleru, Medak, Mahbubnagar and other places. Details of collection, processing and pricing will be revealed later, he said.The minister said that Neera, which used to be a traditional drink, has become a “cheap” drink over the years. The government is enhancing not only the dignity of the workers associated with tapping but also promoting the drink considering public health, he said.
The licenses for such stalls will be issued only to members of the Goud community. This was part of the election manifesto and the government has fulfilled the same, he said. At present, Neera as a drink is available in Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and also in countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
Liquor licences to be renewed for just a month
The government on Wednesday decided to extend licences for A4 shops by a period of one month. The existing licences were to expire on September 30 and owing to apprehensions among liquor dealers, there has been a shortage of liquor across the State. On an extension of licences up to October 31, dealers are required to pay proportionate annual retail shop excise tax for one month and also retail shop excise turnover tax at eight per cent plus applicable VAT thereon. Commissioner Somesh Kumar issued the orders on Wednesday