Supermarkets will be banned from selling wine, beer and spirits below the cost of duty on the product plus VAT.
Ministers are also reported to be considering a rise in the duty paid on super-strength beer, as part of the Police and Social Responsibility Bill that is also due to be published.
Licences could be removed from sellers that breach the rules.
Public Health Minister Simon Burns said: “What the government has done over the last few months is consult and look into the whole area of alcohol-related problems and considering whether or not to stop the supermarket from selling alcohol below cost and looking at the licensing laws because we believe that every Friday, Saturday night there are too many incidents up and down the country with people fuelled by alcohol causing anti-social behaviour, acts of violence and criminal activity.
“We’re waiting to see the final announcement by the government because they have been consulting and obviously parliament will be informed first, but if any decisions along the lines of the leaked documents in the Telegraph are taken, I think that it will have an impact on some people who will not purchase alcohol or purchase it in a more responsible way because it will be more expensive than it is at the moment.
“What we have been looking at as well as the tax mechanism is the possibility of stopping supermarkets and other retail outlets from selling alcohol below cost-price, so in effect selling them as a loss-leader to encourage people to buy more which can lead to problems through excessive drinking.
“We believe that actually having a system where supermarkets and other retail outlets are not able to sell below the cost price is a better way forward.”