Foreign Liquor now in wine shops in AP
In about two weeks from now, the excise and prohibition department will start selling foreign brands of liquor in Andhra Pradesh. Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal, Grey Goose Vodka, Corona beer and many more would be available in wine shops and bars. Previously, the foreign brands were available only in star hotels with an incredibly expensive tag. Now, the government is trying its best to make them available to the common man. The state expects to make about Rs 400 crores with the sale of foreign liquor.
In 2009-2010, Andhra Pradesh earned about Rs 12,000 crores from the liquor industry. In 2010-2011, it is expected to reach Rs 15,000 crores. Clearly, instead of restricting liquor consumption, the government of Andhra Pradesh has been promoting its consumption for revenue generation. Introduction of foreign liquor to wine shops comes at a time when the state treasury is almost empty. Meaning, the sole motive of the state is revenue generation. You can see why this is dangerous. Not some private corporation, but the state itself is putting money before public interests. This is when things can go terribly wrong.
AP state government has two distinctly contradicting agencies – Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation Limited (APBCL) and the Department of Health (DoH). APBCL promotes alcohol consumption and is driven with the sole motive of revenue generation and the DoH tries to lower the alcohol consumption in the society. Ironically, the government wants those who are addicted to liquor supplied by APBCL to make use of the Arogyasree program offered by the DoH.
Recently, Union Health Ministry has advised that State Health Departments be empowered with implementing alcohol consumption control policy. And Rightly so! The Department of Health would ensure that government puts public interests before revenue generation.
No, this is not awesome. Lets not talk about the so called rich people who makes enough money for their high profile habits. Think about the middle class and lower middle class people who may tend to tase this foreign liquor and spend their whole money that supposed to give food, shelter and education to their family.
The congress government talks about liquor ban only at the time of elections and after election, they think of implementing all the ways to flow the liquor around the state. This is the party that claims that they are the only heirs of Gandhi and they are the only ones in the world who follows Gandhi’s idealogies. Shame on Congress Govt.
I think this is not the first time that AP Excise Dept allowed foreign liquor. If one can remember correctly, between 1992-1994, it allowed IMFL to be sold in wine shops. IMFL stands for Indian Made Foreign Liquor. I am not sure if it included the brand names mentioned in this post or not.
There is a difference in the manufacturing process. Unlike foreign liquors, all the IMFLs use the same spirit to start with. Depending on the additional ingredients or flavoring put in, the end product gets the respective name, whiskey or rum or vodka.
Even AP governor was flabbergasted at the amount of liquor consumption in AP. As long as there is huge money involved, corporates will always try to make use of the circumstances and there will be intense lobbying in the government. With so much revenue at stake and with the AP government really strapped for cash, liquor ban is probably not on the cards now!
isn’t it awesome. This is the perfect remedy for summer. Govt is getting money to cooldown AP rather spending on electricity.