Around 4,500 liquor outlets to reopen in Karnataka on May 4

Nearly 4,500 liquor vending outlets are set to reopen on Monday, even as the Federation of Wine Merchants’ Associations, Karnataka, fears that the opening of outlets could be tense.

While there are about 3,946 CL-2 licence holders (wine stores), the State-owned Mysore Sales International Ltd. (MSIL), which has CL-11 licence, has 786 stores across the State. Shops with these two licences have been allowed to open from Monday with some restrictions. “Only standalone shops are allowed to open. Our estimation is that about 5% of these licence-holders may not be able to reopen because they may be located in malls or market buildings,” a federation source said.

Starting from March 14, the State government closed down liquor vending outlets in phases, and finally the lockdown from March 25 saw all the outlets shut. During the lockdown period, the State reported a loss of over ₹2,500 crore in excise revenue. On Saturday, the government permitted wine stores, MSIL outlets, distilleries, breweries, and wineries outside containment zones to reopen from Monday.

While there were reports of people already standing in queue in front of liquor outlets at several places on Sunday, federation sources said that it was wary of less than half of the total liquor licensees being allowed to open shop. “Of the nearly 11,000 liquor licences in the State, holders of about 4,500 will open shop on Monday. Our fear is that this will create a huge rush and result in a law and order problem,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka State Breweries Corporation Ltd. (KSBCL) opened on Sunday for stock checking and closing of accounts for the 2019-20 financial year; this will continue on Monday as well. Distribution of liquor is expected to start from Tuesday. Sources said that about 27 lakh boxes of IML and 16 lakh boxes of beer were in various depots. “The current stocks at KSBCL depots in the State could last for about 10 days under normal demand,” a source said.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 5:38:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/around-4500-liquor-outlets-to-reopen-in-karnataka-on-may-4/article31495915.ece

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