Telangana's Excise Department has collected Rs 968 crore as application fee for running the liquor shops across the state. The department received 48,000 application for 2,216 liquor licenses this year. Each applicant had to make a non-refundable deposit of Rs 2 lakh, which was double the fee in 2017.
Officials attributed the increase in application to the changes in excise policy in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where the government has initiated phased prohibition of liquor.
As per the existing liquor policy in Telangana, liquor licences are issued for a period of two years, from November 2019 to October 2021. The draw of lots will take place today in each district.
Those who are lucky one to be called after the draw will have to pay between Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore, and more for the licence fee, depending on the population in the area where the shop is situated. The new licenses for shops will be issued by November 1.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government has introduced a new excise policy and taken a decision to take over liquor outlets in a gradual, phased introduction of total prohibition in the state. The government has also set fixed timings for selling liquor, between 11 am and 8 pm.
Officials say that the policy changes in Andhra has forced traditional liquor sellers to partner with new bidders to get a licence in Telangana, specially in the border district which is likely to witness heavy sales from residents across the border.