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New Excise policy in Oct; Pure toddy, liquor to replace illicit brew: KCR

Expressing serious concern over unabated deaths caused by consumption of spurious and cheap liquor in the State, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today directed the Excise officials to prepare a new Excise policy sans irregularities will be announced in October this year.

At a high-level review meeting with the Excise officials at the Secretariat here on Friday, the Chief Minister accused the previous governments of deliberately ignoring the toddy sector and failed to grow toddy trees and instead encouraged cheap and spurious liquor. There is an urgent need for a new Excise policy and supply of non-spurious liquor through distilleries here and check the illicit and non-duty paid liquor coming from other States.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to prepare plans to bring out a new Excise policy in October and root out cheap liquor whose consumption in Mahbubnagar, Medak and Nizamabad districts was claiming precious lives on consumption while their widows were making a hue and cry against the State government. The government will allot two DFOs to Excise department for the purpose, he said, adding that Excise and police teams will coordinate to root out illicit liquor and supply pure quality to the people, including working class.

Stressing the need for promotion of toddy and increase of its sale to cater to the needs of the people, he directed the officials to take steps for local production of the liquor to fetch income and provide employment. The Chief Minister suggested planting of five crore toddy saplings on the embankments of lakes and ponds. “Although the steps taken this year did not bear fruit, we need to focus on the growing toddy trees to cater to the needs of the people in villages and towns. In spite of spending Rs 28,000 crore on welfare, the people are falling a prey to illicit liquor, KCR bemoaned. The Excise and police departments will have to work in tandem to banish cheap and spurious liquor from the State. (NSS)