Bill granting right of liquor sale to government corporations gets Andhra assembly nod

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Assembly on Wednesday passed the Andhra Pradesh (Regulation of Trade in Indian Made Foreign Liquor, Foreign Liquor) Amendment Bill, 2019, which grants an exclusive right to the AP State Beverages Corporation Limited to sell liquor through shops in the State.

Moving the Bill, Minister for Excise and Commercial Taxes K Narayana Swamy said it would eradicate violations in the retail sale of IMFL and enforce strict regulations through exclusive retailing by the public sector organisation. “This is the first step towards prohibition in the State,” he said.

Stating that the liquor menace has become a cause of concern for several families in the State, the minister said after getting a plethora of appeals from women, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced prohibition in a phased manner before the 2014 elections.

“Several people suggested that it is impossible to run the government by imposing prohibition. However, the Chief Minister made it clear that his government will not consider liquor as a source of revenue and took the first step towards prohibition,” Swamy said. Members who participated in the discussion hailed the Chief Minister for bringing in such legislation.

The Assembly also passed the AP Employment of Local Candidates in the Industries/Factories Bill, 2019 and a Bill to amend the AP Electricity Reform Act, 1998 and the Electricity Act, 2003.

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Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas has said the Cabinet sub-committee, which is looking into corruption and irregularities in various schemes and projects of the previous government, will also look into the allegations of large scale corruption in the works taken up for conducting Godavari and Krishna pushkarams and fix responsibility for the death of 29 pilgrims at the Rajahmundry Pushkar Ghat in a stampede. The Justice Somayajulu Commission had found fault with the then CM  N Chandrababu Naidu taking holy dip at a ghat not prescribed for VIPs, but no action was taken, he said.

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