Eradicating the menace of unauthorized liquor outlets – belt shops in Andhra Pradesh from 8 June 2014


GO Ms.No.263 Dated:08 June2014 The underlying intent & purpose of the Excise policy of the Government of Andhra Pradesh is to regulate the sale, purchase, possession, production, manufacture, and transport of intoxicating liquors and drugs and the levy of duties of excise and countervailing duties on alcoholic liquors for human consumption. 2. For regulating the sale and possession of intoxicating liquors, the Government of AP has enacted the AP Excise Act 1968, the AP Prohibition Act 1995, the AP Excise Grant of Licence of Selling by Bar & Conditions of Licence Rules, 2005 and the AP Excise (Grant of Licence of Selling by Shops & Conditions of Licence) Rules, 2012. The Prohibition & Excise Department is responsible for implementing the regulations prescribed under the Act & Rules. 3. The sale of liquor in unauthorized outlets/premises, commonly called in the local parlance as “belt shops”, has been engaging the attention of Government for some time. The sale of liquor in the unauthorized premises, while being illegal and against the rules, defeats the very purpose of licensing. The rampant availability of liquor, due to the belt shops, has a very harmful effect on social behavior, morality, public health and the safety and security of women & children. The civil society and women’s organizations have been repeatedly agitating and demanding the Government to eliminate the unauthorized liquor outlets (belt shops). Eradicating unauthorized liquor belt shops in A.P 4. After careful examination of the extant situation, the provisions under the relevant Act and Rules and the harmful effects of the unauthorized liquor outlets (belt shops) on the general society and women & children in particular and in the interest of public health & peace and tranquility, the Government hereby resolve to take all the necessary measures to eradicate the menace of the unauthorized liquor outlets, commonly known as belt shops. 5. In pursuance of the above objective, the Government hereby orders that the following steps shall be taken: (1) Amendments to Acts & Rules: The Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise shall examine the present framework of Acts & Rules for implementing the Excise policy, identify the lacunae & loopholes in the Act/Rules, which lead to the proliferation of the unauthorized liquor outlets (belt shops), and propose the amendments/changes required for eradicating the unauthorized liquor outlets (belt shops). (2) Enforcement work: All the cases of unauthorized liquor sales shall be viewed very strictly and cases shall be registered under Section 34(a) of Andhra Pradesh Excise Act, 1968. Such cases, wherein liquor is sold at unauthorized premises or outlets ‘cannot be compounded’ under any circumstances and stern action, as per the Act & the Rules shall be taken where link to the licensee is established. (3)Constitution of Special Task Force Teams: The Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise shall constitute “Special Task Force” teams exclusively for dealing with the menace of sales at unauthorized liquor outlets (belt shops). (4)Cancellation of licences: Action shall be taken for cancellation of the licences in the following cases: a. Registration of cases against licensees of A4 shops who indulge in sale of liquor beyond permitted quantities to the customers in one transaction under Section 36 (b) and (c) of A.P. Excise Act 1968 and to cancel their licenses. b. The licences of A4-Shops shall be cancelled, if during investigation, it is found that they are involved in supply of liquor to unauthorized outlets, in violation of Rule 35 of the Andhra Pradesh Excise (Grant of Licence of Selling by Shop and Conditions of Licence) Rules, 2012. (5)Co-operation from other Departments: The Prohibition & Excise Department shall seek the cooperation of Police Officials and the Government departments like Revenue and Rural and Urban Local bodies, in detecting and control of unauthorized liquor sales in the Villages, Towns and Cities. (6)Disciplinary action against erring officials: Any slackness on the part of Station House Officers of Prohibition & Excise Department in non-detection and complete removal of unauthorized outlets, if any, shall attract severe disciplinary action against them. (7) Awareness: To curb consumption or sale of liquor at unauthorised outlets, “Village level Committees, Mandal level Committees and District Level Committees” shall be formed by the District Collectors with respectable and responsible persons of that locality including women to give information to the Enforcement Agencies for the detection and removal of unauthorized liquor outlets. The Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and NGOs shall be motivated to pass information about the sale of IML at unauthorised liquor outlets (belt Shops). (8) Incentives and Rewards: Incentives will be offered to those who give information regarding liquor sale at unauthorised outlets. Monetary rewards and merit certificates shall be given for good work rendered in the eradication of the unauthorised liquor outlets (belt shops) to the personnel working in Government Departments, including the personnel working in Enforcement Wing of the Prohibition and Excise Department. 6. The Commissioner, Prohibition & Excise and the Director, Enforcement,(P&E), Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad shall take all necessary steps for the implementation of the above order both in letter & spirit.

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