Telangana reluctant in reopening of liquor shops: Minister Srinivas Goud

Telangana reluctant in reopening of liquor shops: Minister Srinivas Goud
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Excise Minister Srinivas Goud
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The Telangana government has opened the liquor shops reluctantly, according to Excise Minister Srinivas Goud.

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has opened the liquor shops reluctantly, according to Excise Minister Srinivas Goud.

In reply to Opposition criticism in this regard, the minister said here on Wednesday that the government had so far handled the Covid-19 situation very successfully. But it had no option but to open the liquor shops since the neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh had opened them and there were reports of rise in gudumba cases, belt shops and people crossing over to the neighbouring states to buy liquor. In this backdrop, the government had reluctantly decided to open the liquor shops, he added.

In fact, the minister said the Cabinet and the Chief Minister were not in favour of it. He, however, said that based on the experience of day one of opening of liquor shops, the government will now take more stringent measures to ensure physical distancing. If revenue was the only criteria, Telangana would have been ahead of others in opening the liquor shops, he said. Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy in New Delhi said that the Centre had allowed reopening of liquor shops during the third phase of the nationwide lockdown following requests from the Chief Ministers of different states. He said during a videoconference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these Chief Ministers, including those of the BJP-ruled states, sought reopening of liquor shops, citing loss of revenue to the states since the beginning of the lockdown in March.

The Chief Ministers told the Prime Minister that their states don't even have money to pay salaries to their government employees, he added. Kishan Reddy revealed this during a webinar organized by the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) on 'Understanding MHA guidelines'.

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