In what can be termed as the biggest U-turn by Jagan to date, the state government had issued Liquor Bonds and pooled in 8000 Crore loans.
The government had proposed to mobilize a minimum of Rs 2,000 crore by offering non-convertible debentures.
The markets responded positively and oversubscribed the bonds by five times. AP Government, however, is using only 8000 Crore.
That is because the revenues from the sale of liquor in Andhra Pradesh doubled to Rs 18,000 crore in the last fiscal from the previous year’s Rs 9,000 crore.
Interestingly, the previous Chandrababu Naidu government also raised funds through the selling of bonds. The then government had put bonds for sale through Amaravati Development Corporation.
Back then, the sale of Amaravati bonds fetched Rs 2,000 crore.
Even though it is only about raising funds, both incidents are different in political and public perception.
Amaravati bonds were put up for sake through Amaravati Development Corporation with huge fanfare and the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu attended the customary bell-ringing ceremony at Bombay Stock Exchange.
Jagan Government kept the liquor bonds secret until the last minute to minimize the criticism.
Naidu sold vision in the name of Amaravati bonds while Jagan used the weakness of the people to raise funds and also broke a promise in the process.
The sale of these bonds mean Jagan Government had committed to no prohibition.
These bonds restrict Jagan from any chance of going for Prohibition in the state as promised earlier.
“If the government imposes a prohibition on the sale and consumption of liquor, it will ensure premature redemption of all outstanding bonds within three months from the date of such an imposition,” said the agreement.
Repaying 8000 Crore with interest is unimaginable for the government. So, prohibition is not possible.