The number of liquor shops in the State is set to increase as the Excise Department has decided to give permission to the government-held Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) to open new liquor shops depending upon demand.

Disclosing this to presspersons here on Monday, Excise Minister Satish Jarkiholi said that the decision was taken in the wake of increasing demand for liquor shops.

However, the Minister made it clear that there was no question of increasing the number of private liquor stores.

The MSIL had been told to conduct a survey to assess the exact demand for new outlets, he said.

He said the Excise Department had urged Social Welfare Department to provide a rehabilitation package for about 1,500 traditional illicit liquor brewers who had opted out of the trade. The illicit liquor menace was still prevalent to an extent in Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gadag and Bellary districts, he said.

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