Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K
Rosaiah on Tuesday rejected the criticism that new guidelines of
the state government for issue of licenses to liquor outlets
and bars would open floodgates for new vends and bars and said
they were only meant to streamline the entire system.
"The new guidelines will not open floodgates for opening
of new liquor vends and bars in the state as being alleged by
the opposition parties. The government`s intention is very
clear: not to encourage liquor consumption," Rosaiah told
reporters here this evening.
"Have no doubt. We are not for making money through sale
of liquor. At the same time, we don`t want any leakage of
income that the government should genuinely get," the Chief
Rosaiah, who also holds charge of the excise portfolio,
said "yes, I am the Excise Minister as well and the policy
decisions are taken at my level. But I have no knowledge about
the functioning of the Excise department and, in fact, I too
was left wondering about the new guidelines issued yesterday,"
The government, he said, was making efforts to reduce the
number of liquor outlets, including bars, in the state and not
issue licenses indiscriminately.
"More than 700 applications have been pending for the
past two years for bar licenses but we have not granted them
in tune with our policy. In fact, there are currently more
than 400 bars across the state in excess of the permitted
number. Since revoking those licenses would lead to problems,
we are going slow," Rosaiah said.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu
came down heavily on the state government over new bar
"We are unable to digest the fact that the government has
come out with a policy to grant bar licenses in accordance
with the population. There are no schools or hospitals in
proportion to the population but the government is encouraging
liquor vends to be opened without any cap. Soon, it will
supply liquor through pipelines as well," Telugu Desam Party
president N Chandrababu Naidu said.
TDP would strongly fight the liquor policy of the
government, he said.
Praja Rajyam Party president K Chiranjeevi too was highly
critical of the new bar licensing policy announced by the