Though water is considered to be a necessity, Telangana differs in thought. From October onwards, a bottle of liquor will be cheaper than a bottle of water in the state. For just Rs.15, people will be able to buy a 90ml liquor bottle and for Rs.30, they’ll get a 180 ml liquor bottle, reports New Indian Express.
The state government has defended its move citing that it will curb “gudumba” (illegally brewed liquor). Sources in the Excise Department said:
“Around 60 to 70 persons out of 100 persons who consume gudumba regularly are dying at an early age. The sale of gudumba will be completely eradicated. The new variety of cheap liquor brand will cater to those sections consuming gudumba.”
However, a 90 ml gudumba sachet is available at just Rs.10 and the 180 ml gudumba sachet is available for just Rs.20. An official said that prices were set targetting gudumba consumers.
The government will be able to make liquor bottle available at these prices by slashing excise duty and other taxes on the new cheap liquor brand. This means that the excise department will lose around Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,200 crore every year, initially.
The government is expecting to sell around 1 to 2 lakh cases of the new variety of cheap liquor in the state every year. Presently, the cheapest branded liquor is available for Rs.60 per bottle in the state.