Two lakh belt shops to be closed down

Two lakh belt shops to be closed down

Committee to study the problem A CM wants report in a month Hyderabad : Over two lakh belt shops...

  • Committee to study the problem A
  • CM wants report in a month

Hyderabad : Over two lakh belt shops selling liquors across unauthorized counters, will face closer in the state very soon. A decision to this effect was taken by the state Government.A As committed at a public meeting in Eluru town, the Chief Minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday asked the officials of the Prohibition and Excise department to constitute a committee to study the issue. He wanted the committee to submit the report within a month's time enabling the government act on the issue promptly.

The Chief Minister, at a high level meeting held in the Secretariat to review the functioning of the Prohibition and Excise Department as well as the revenue from its sources, favored winding up of the belt liquor shops. Disclosing this to the media, the Minister for Higher Education, K Parthasarathy said that the government had no information as to how many belt-shops had come into operation so far.

But Kiran Kumar Reddy was very much for doing away with the belt shops. He said that there were in all 5,980 licensed liquor shops all over the state.A The decision to down the shutters of the belt shops came in the wake of mounting pressure from within the ruling party as well as different other organizations as there was nothing official about them. The Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh who took part in an official programme along with the Chief Minister at Eluru two days ago wanted the menace of belt shops to end.

He was successful in drawing the attention of the Chief Minister saying that the people needed more toilets and not belt shops. Interestingly, winding up of the belt shops was one of the promises made by the leader of the Opposition and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu during his Vastunna Meekosam Yatra in the state. The belt shops concept is more than one and a half decades old. The menace of the belt shops assumed serious proportion as the Department of Prohibition and Excise allowed the wine shops to open as many belt shops as possible with its tacit approval in pursuit of the revenue targets.

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