VIJAYAWADA: Alcoholic beverage (alcobev) companies that had left AP, presuming a complete liquor ban, are now willing to make a comeback.
But their one demand: Settlement of pending dues by the state government. Currently, the total dues payable to companies including IMFL suppliers by the Andhra Pradesh government is Rs 640 crore. The dues payable to beer companies stands at more than Rs 100 crore.
Representatives of multi-national beer companies, running from pillar to post to resolve pending issues, say they are looking for some assurance from the government on future payments.
“We are hopeful of a positive response regarding our proposal on an automated payment system, as is the case with some other states, for smooth functioning of their operations,” said one of them.
Alcobev companies, especially the manufacturers of some world-renowned brands of beer, shut their operations after the Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL) stopped payments for the months of September and October in 2019. As the YSRC government also announced that it was going to impose a complete prohibition on liquor in a phased manner, companies were reluctant to supply beer without pending bills being cleared.
However, companies are now eager to return as they say that the consumption has not dropped even after two-and-half years of phased prohibition.