Steep hike in liquor prices bring down consumption in AP, says CM Jagan

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Thursday that consumption of alcohol in AP has decreased significantly due to the hike in prices and removal of belt shops.

He spoke at a review meeting with revenue generating departments, including excise, mines and Panchayat Raj, at the CM camp office at Tadepalli. Liquor sales were 384.31 lakh cases in 2018-19, which has come down to 278.5 lakh cases in 2021-22. Similarly, in 2018-19, beer sales were 277.10 lakh cases, while in 2021-22 it has decreased to 82.6 lakh cases.

Jagan advised the officials to ensure that narcotic substances should be out of bounds to students and youth. SEB numbers should be displayed before all colleges and universities and there should be no drug abuse report.

He said that those who were into the brewing of illicit liquor and cultivating ganja should be provided with alternative sources of employment. There should also be encouragement for self-employment.

The officials informed the CM that consumption of alcohol has come down from 384.31 lakh cases in 2018-19 to 278.5 lakh cases in 2021-22. The sales of beer for the same period has come down from 277.10 lakh cases to 82.6 lakh cases. The revenue went up from Rs 20,128 crore to  Rs 25,023 crore for the same period due to the steep hike in liquor prices.

In all, 20,127 cases were registered, 16,027 arrested and 1407 vehicles seized in related cases.

In 2,500 acres, people shifted from ganja cultivation to other crops while steps are being taken for horticulture development on another 1600 acres.

Jagan said ACB toll-free number 14400 should be displayed in all government offices. This should be on display from Village Secretariat to the collector’s office, as also in police stations and at PDS shops.

He said the sub-registrar offices should be revamped and so should be the passport offices. Taking the district as a unit, the collectors should ensure that mining operations are carried out only in a legal manner and disputes thereof should be settled amicably if there was no loss of revenue.

The chief minister said there should be transparency in the sale of red sanders, for which officials said plans were afoot for the sale of 2,640 metric tonnes between October and March in a hassle-free system.

Deputy chief minister Narayanaswamy, ministers Dharmana Prasada, Ramchandra Reddy, Viswaroop, chief secretary Sameer Sharma, DGP Rajendrnath and other higher officials participated in the meeting.

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