Heading towards total prohibition, Chief Minister Y S Jagan mohan Reddy had decided to reduce the number of bars in the State. The government would also reduce the bars timing by two hours initially. The new system in the excise policy would be implemented across the State from January 1, the chief minister said.
The chief minister had directed the excise officials to come up with new rules to be applied to the bars. The new excise policy with amendments to the bars would have to be ready by December and has to be implemented by January 1.
There are 819 bars across the state which were permitted in 2017 for a period of five years. The licenses of these bars would expire in 2022 and the timing is fixed for 10 am to 11 pm. The bars with restaurant facility would be allowed to keep open till 12 in the midnight though liquor serving is stopped after 11 pm and the counters are closed.
Now, the chief minister had directed the excise officials to ensure that the bars are completely closed by 10 pm. As the number of bars would also be reduced the government assumes that the liquor consumption would come down.
The cut in the number of liquor shops and the reduced time had brought down the liquor consumption drastically in the state in the last two months. The government run-liquor shops are open for a limited period from 11 am to 8 pm. The government is now planning to cut the sales time by an hour introducing lunch break.
The belt shops too are closed and the liquor is not easily available in the rural areas, thus the government brought down the liquor consumption. Once this new policy for bars is also implemented, the government wants to open deaddiction centers across the state to deal with the habitual alcoholics towards imposition of total prohibition by the time the ruling party goes for the next election in 2024.