The cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh government would seek ₹1,783 crore loan from the World Bank to clear dues to distilleries that supply liquor to the state-owned corporation, Deputy Chief Minister (Excise and Commercial Taxes) K Narayana Swamy on Tuesday (March 3) said.
He said the AP Beverages Corporation Limited, which procures liquor from the distilleries, has no land to mortgage for securing a loan.
“We will adopt other means for securing the loan… We will demand the World Bank to lend ₹1,783 crore for clearing dues to distilleries. Our government has no dues, but these are kept pending by the previous TDP government,” he told a press conference in the Secretariat here.
He alleged 17 acres of the corporation land had been encroached by a TDP leader in Vijayawada and steps were being taken to retrieve it, but did not name the person.
Narayana Swamy said the YSR Congress government was going ahead with the plan of enforcing 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 liquor ban.
“We are going ahead with a good intention. Does the TDP want liquor ban or people to continue drinking?” he asked.
“Former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu watered down the prohibition policy brought in by late TDP founder N T Rama Rao during his rule, Narayana Swamy alleged.”