Distilleries citing increased costs of production and raw materials, says Anam

Yielding to the demand of the State-owned Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation, the government has decided to enhance retail prices of liquor by 10-12 per cent.

Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayan Reddy said the finer details, including the date of implementing the enhanced rates, would be announced after further discussions.

The increase in liquor prices would fetch additional tax of Rs. 2,400 crore, raising the total Excise revenue to Rs. 13,220 crore.

AP Beverages Corporation and the 32 distilleries in the State would earn an additional amount of Rs. 600 crore after revision of prices. The increase in MRP has been decided following a persistent demand by the distilleries for a 15 per cent hike to absorb the increased costs of production and raw materials.

LPG cylinders

Speaking to reporters after meeting Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Saturday, Mr. Ramanarayan Reddy said the State was in favour of toeing the line of other Congress-ruled States in subsidising three more LPG cylinders annually to each household. The Civil Supplies Department was working out details of the likely burden on the exchequer and the Chief Minister would take a decision after the proposals were submitted to him. Replying to questions, he said the financial position of the government was ‘alright’ with revenue accruals remaining stable.

Drought conditions

A majority of revenue-earning departments achieved 90 per cent of the targets. However, there was 3-4 per cent fall in the receipts of the Commercial Taxes Department due to fall in industrial production and drought conditions in some areas.

Refuting the criticism that the government was not releasing funds for irrigation projects, he said no bill was pending with the Finance Department for works that were completed. However, an irrigation official, when approached, said bills for Rs. 640 crore were pending clearance in the Finance Department.