Five-star hotels in Chennai and Tiruchi can serve liquor 24 hours. This will be applicable to similar hotels in Coimbatore and Madurai provided they pay double the amount of privilege fee.

Other hotels are allowed to do business for an additional hour.

Under the revised system, this category of hotels can serve liquor from 11 a.m. to midnight, instead of 11 p.m.

An order to this effect was issued by the Home, Prohibition and Excise Department on June 26.

In view of the presence of international civil airports in Chennai and Tiruchi, the hours of business of five-star hotels for the purpose of serving liquor have been made round the clock straightaway. As there are no international airports in Coimbatore and Madurai, five-hotels there have been treated differently.

The government move is in response to representations from the hospitality sector to extend the duration.

An official clarified that the government has made this move not to generate revenue but to ensure availability of quality liquor for international travellers who reach the cities in the late hours of the day.

However, the decision will not cover bars of the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), another official said.

The annual privilege fee for non-proprietary clubs in Chennai has been hiked from Rs. four lakh to Rs. 10 lakh. In the remaining parts of the State, the revised fee is Rs. six lakh.

These clubs are called FL 2 licensees, which are 138 in number, the official explained. As regards hotels and restaurants, they come under the category of FL-3 licensees and their number is 600. In respect of this category of licensees, the application fee and licence fee have been fixed at Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 5,000 respectively.

In the case of privilege fee, a five-slab system has been devised.

The fee for five-star hotels is Rs. 16 lakh; four-star hotels – Rs. nine lakh; three-star hotels – Rs. six lakh; two-star hotels – Rs. 4.5 lakh and one-star and other hotels – Rs. three lakh, according to the order.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National