When YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy announced introduction of prohibition in a phased manner and reduced the number of liquor shops and bars, everybody, including so-called political analysts, viewed it with a lot of scepticism.
Analysts have pointed out that prohibition is a failed concept across the country, while financial experts described it as a regressive step as it would upset the economy of the state due to steep fall in revenue.
Truly, the revenue from liquor has come down from Rs 1,701 crore in October 2018 to Rs 1,038 crore in October 2019, after closure of belt shops, reduction in number of wine shops and taking over liquor sales by the excise department.
But what the analysts have failed to realise that the crime rate related to liquor consumption has relatively come down considerably in Andhra Pradesh, compared to other states and also to the situation in AP in the past.
Experts say crimes, especially sexual offences against women, are directly proportional to liquor consumption. Majority of rapes and murders take place only under the influence of alcohol. Behind every crime, there is a major role of liquor consumption.
The latest gang rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad is a classic example of this phenomenon.
“The government is seeing liquor only as source of income but not a provocative factor for crimes likes rapes and murders,” an analyst said.
It is fact that the government cannot prevent liquor consumption by people overnight. But it can at least control liquor consumption by restricting liquor sales, as is being done by Andhra Pradesh government.
Some of the suggestions to control liquor consumption are:
1.Every boozer should be given an identity card to purchase only a restricted quantity of liquor fixing every day and should not be given more than that prescribed quantity. Liquor Purchase ID card Should be automatically rejected when it exceeds the quantity.
2.Government should charge Rs 5,000 per annum from each individual to get liquor ID card. It could be renewed every year only after payment of Rs 5,000 and submission of a medical certificate.
3. If a liquor ID card holder commits any crime under the influence of the liquor his / her liquor I D card Should be Cancelled and Never he Should not get the I D card.
4. Cards should be issued only on competition of 25 years of age.
5. For the people coming from outside of the state/country can be given liquor only after showing proper ID card and after fixed quantity is delivered after that no liquor should be given to that person.
6.In all the check posts of the state border no one should allow to carry liquor.
By implementing these conditions, the government can control the liquor and belt shops and at the same time government will not lose the income as it is charging 5000 rupees from each individual and crime rate of the Telangana will come down as it is highest now.