HYDERABAD: Telangana State government has cracked whip against illegal display of liquor brands in the state by manufacturers, dealers, bars and others. Prohibition and excise department sent notices to several liquor manufacturers and dealers to withdraw ads immediately or face punitive action including the cancellation of licences.
Advertisement of liquor in any form is banned in Telangana State under the AP Intoxicating Liquors (Prohibition of Advertisement) Act 1978. However, when the officers were busy during the state bifurcation days, many liquor manufacturers and dealers brazenly displayed liquor ads through sign display boards, pop displays, hoardings, posters, pops, glow light and in various other forms.
Surrogate advertisements too have become common wherein alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and other narcotic products are advertised in the disguises like soda, cassettes, CDs, mineral water, awards and event promotions, by liquor companies.
Curbing them is proving to be a tough task. “We have decided to take stringent action against erring liquor companies and wine dealers who display liquor ads in any form. We gave enough them enough time and now we are going to take action,” Dr R. V. Chandravadan, commissioner, prohibition and excise department told this newspaper on Friday.
“There are hoardings at prominent places in the cities and towns, put up by the manufacturing companies. We request all the manufacturers and importers of IMFL and beer to withdraw all ads and give no scope for department to take punitive action,” he added.
Asked how many companies and dealers were served notices, he said all those based in the state have been issued notices to. “They are falling in line. The display of the name of liquor outlet or manufacturer is allowed while products should not be promoted,” he said.
He also directed assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners of excise to check every company, distillery and retail outlets for illegal ads. There are 2215 liquor shops besides scores of bars and restaurants in the state.
“Field officers have been instructed to look out for sign boards, hoardings, posters etc. that are visible to the public and book cases against the advertisers. However, the penalty is a meagre Rs 250. That is a problem. The other option is cancellation of licence if they repeatedly float the law,”he added.