Licensed liquor shops would be held accountable if found selling liquor to belt shop operators, said BC Welfare and Empowerment and Excise Minister Kollu Ravindra at a press meet held here on Friday.

The government imposed a ban on belt shops and if liquor was sold to any of the operators by licensed shop owners, then legal action would be initiated under Section 34 of AP State Excise Act against them and even the licence may be cancelled, he said.

He pointed out that the government was not looking towards excise duty from liquor as a revenue generation platform. “Health of the individual and family was important,” said Mr. Ravindra.

He informed the Press that he would be meeting the senior officers from various districts on Monday at Hyderabad to initiate a committee to draft the Excise policy. “The committee members will study the policy of various states to draw up a comprehensive and people-friendly policy,” he said.

The Minister also said that sale of liquor over the MRP was illegal and five special task force teams have been initiated to curb the menace and as well as work on the closure of belt shops. On the rampant smuggling of ganja from the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam, he promised to look into it.

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