Restaurants, pubs likely to be given permission to sell alcohol

Karnataka  Bengaluru  14/03/2020  Many pubs were open on Church street in Bengaluru  . Photo : Bhagya Prakash K/ THE HINDU

Karnataka Bengaluru 14/03/2020 Many pubs were open on Church street in Bengaluru . Photo : Bhagya Prakash K/ THE HINDU

In all likelihood, people in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka will be allowed to buy alcohol from their local bars and restaurants. Sources in the Excise Department said that an official order will be issued shortly.

“These establishments will have to sell bottles at the MRP as the order is being issued to ensure that the stock is cleared,” said an excise official. He added that they will only be allowed to sell existing liquor and not procure new stock.

Since Monday, around 3,950 retail shops and 829 MSIL stores have been given permission to sell liquor. “We will now grant permission to those who have CL-7 and CL-9 licences to sell liquor. This includes boarding and lodging facilities as well as bars and restaurants,” the official said.

Sources in the Federation of Wine Merchants’ Association, Karnataka, said they feared that the permission could be temporary, to exhaust stocks that remain locked inside bars. “We have been asking permission to operate regularly so that we can manage our overheads,” sources said. The federation also shot off a memorandum on Thursday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, highlighting their problems. On May 6, it had asked the State government to allow the sale of liquor by other licence holders, too. In the memorandum, they pointed out that there were huge stocks of beer lying in bars that would expire soon.

Bar owners said they procure liquor from the government-run Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Ltd. “As the government is not in a position to take back the stock, we told the government officials that we want permission to sell only so that we do not incur losses,” said a member of the Karnataka State Hotels’ Association.

He said they were waiting for the government to issue orders after which the hotels would work out the modalities. “We want clarity on whether the government would allow deliveries as well. We have been told that they have currently given a nod only for takeaway,” a hotelier said. There are 1,400 boarding and lodging centres and 3,600 bars and restaurants in the State.

Liquor sales

On Thursday, when the new excise rates kicked in, liquor worth ₹165 crore has been lifted from Karnataka State Beverages Corporation. This includes 27.56 lakh litres of IML worth ₹152 crore and 5.93 lakh litres of beer worth ₹13 crore.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 6:24:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/restaurants-pubs-likely-to-be-given-permission-to-sell-alcohol/article31529235.ece