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Andhra Pradesh - Nizamabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Debate over sale of liquor at MRP

P. Ram Mohan

NIZAMABAD: The demand for sale of all kinds of liquor at Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) and the issue of formation of syndicate by the wine shop owners deciding the price at their will and wish is likely to snowball into a major controversy in the district as the elected representatives of the Zilla Parishad and others are vertically divided on the subject.

While the Zilla Parishad chairman K. Venkatramana Reddy backed by some ZPTC members was determined to fight it out to the logical conclusion, the so-called syndicate which is said to be consisting of several influential persons including politicians remained silent on the sale of liquor at the MRP. The syndicate reportedly approached Minister P. Sudarshan Reddy seeking his support and he has so far been tight-lipped on the issue.

At a press conference here on Monday, the chairman said that he would not budge an inch until and unless the Excise Department enforced the MRPs on liquor sales incapacitating the liquor syndicate. He said he had the support of all people's organisations, youth federations, Dalits and workers and people at large and he would undertake an agitation if the authorities did not act by May 12.

Mr. Venkatramana Reddy said there were 143 wine shops in the district and traders bid beyond Rs.153 crore this year as against the Rs.70 crore upset price last year. In order to make a fast buck they formed a syndicate and selling the liquor at 30 per cent more than the MRP, he said.

He expressed alarm if the rates were not controlled what would be the bidding prices next year. Observers, however, said that the chairman was being isolated on the issue as he was crying over spilt milk. It remains to be seen to what extent the issue would lead to after May 12.

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