Amaravati: The cash-strapped government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to seek a Rs 1,783 crore loan from the World Bank to clear dues to distilleries that supply liquor to the state-owned corporation.
However, deputy chief minister (excise and commercial taxes) K Narayanaswamy said today the AP Beverages Corporation Limited, which procures liquor from distilleries, has no land to mortgage for securing a loan.
"We will adopt other means for securing a loan. We will ask the World Bank to lend us Rs 1,783 crore. These dues are not our government's dues; they were kept pending by the previous TDP government," he told a press conference at Secretariat here.
The deputy chief minister alleged that 17 acres of land belonging to the corporation was encroached by a TDP leader in Vijayawada. So steps were being taken to retrieve it. He did not name the person.
Narayanaswamy said the YSR Congress (YSRC) government was going ahead with the plan of enforcing a liquor ban in a phased manner to protect people's health.
"You can't give up the habit in one go. So we will do it in a phased manner. This year we will reduce the number of liquor shops in the state by 25 per cent," he said.
After it came to power on May 30 last year, the YSRC government took over the liquor retail business and reduced the number of outlets from 4,380 to 3,500.
The deputy CM demanded that the opposition TDP clearly spell out its stand on the proposed liquor ban.
"We are going ahead with a good intention. Does the TDP want a liquor ban or does it want people to continue drinking?" he asked.
Former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu 'watered down' the prohibition policy brought in by the late TDP founder N T Rama Rao during his rule, Narayanaswamy alleged....