Amaravati: Deputy Chief Minister (Excise and Commercial Taxes) K Narayana Swamy slammed the opposition TDP leaders for protesting against the government demanding for supply of liquor, while the government is moving ahead towards prohibition in phases.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the Minister demanded the opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu to announce whether he was opposing or supporting the decision of the state government on the ban on liquor consumption. He said that Naidu should be ashamed for protesting and demanding for liquor instead of suggesting the government to abolish it. He also said that there was no need to bother about the brands of the alcohol as the government did not take any new brand and clarified that all the present brands available in the market were approved by the previous government.
Unlike the previous TDP government that failed to keep its promise on the abolition of alcohol, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had reduced the number of liquor shops to 2934 from earlier 4380. He recalled that about 43,000 belt shops and over 4000 permit rooms had been removed in a manner unprecedented in history, and that liquor shops and bars had already been reduced by 33 percent. During the TDP government between 2018-19, almost 661 lakh boxes of liquor have been sold, however, in the current government during 2020-21, the consumption has come down to 224 lakh boxes, registering a decrease of 63 percent.
He further said that the liquor syndicates were encouraged in the previous regime for the commissions and now there was no such mafia in this government, as the shops are being run by the government in a most transparent way. He said illicit alcohol was on the rise in the state during the Chandrababu regime, but the present government formed a Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) taking action against all the irregularities.
Since May 2020, SEB had filed 14,689 cases of liquor irregularities, arrested 2,00,786 people and seized 51,103 vehicles for illegal transport of liquor. He said that 7,12,557 liters of NDPL liquor, 95,238 liters of duty paid liquor belonging to other states along with 2, 49,162 kg of cannabis were seized.