Andhra's new liquor policy is expected to come into force from December this year, with the government deciding to allot liquor licenses through the lottery system and bar licenses through a first come-first serve basis.
Writing for The New Indian Express, Digavalli Pavan reported:
The authorities stated that they were preparing the draft policy after considering all the concerns raised by the license holders of bars and liquor shops...As per the existing policy, the government is charging anywhere between Rs 30 lakh and 65 lakh, based on the city/town population. The revenue target for excise department in 2016 is Rs 4,000 crore and the ministry is moving ahead in such a way to achieve the target.
Speaking to TNIE, excise minister Kollu Ravindra said "The officials said that the new policy will provide entry for new players into the liquor business. However, there will be no increase in the number of existing liquor shops as well as bar and restaurants...The new liquor policy is not intended to increase liquor stores or bars across state. Its purpose is clear that to provide platform for new players into liquor business and government will not own any liquor shops."
Last year, the state had agreed to a proposal that allows liquor to be sold in supermarkets and hybrid malls. This is to ensure that everyone does not have to go to a liquor outlet to buy their drinks.
The liquor outlets meanwhile, will also start selling Indian brands in 90 ml tetra-packs costing between Rs 30 and Rs 50, the state had said.
The government had also mulled taking over certain outlets in the state to generate additional revenue but had later decided against it.