Liquor shops on urban highways to reopen
The State Government has allowed the excise permit (EP) holders to reopen their liquor shops operating earlier along the highways falling within the limits of municipal areas.
Excise Department Secretary Vir Vikram Yadav has asked the Excise Commissioner to implement a recent order of the Supreme Court which allows EP holders to reopen their shops along highways falling within the limits of municipal areas.
Yadav has stated that the EP holders earlier operating their shops along the highways within the municipal, NAC limits which have been relocated by now beyond 500 metre shall be allowed for re-sitement, if the licensees of such shops make application for the same.
He added that the EP holders are allowed to reopen their excise shops operating along the highways falling within the limits of NACs.
It is said that all these operations are to be undertaken keeping in view the applicability of Excise laws on the subject and there shall not be any infraction to the provisions of law laid down for opening of such shops these shall be done in accordance with law.
Earlier in absence of such a directive liquor shops on National Highway stretches that fall within the limits of cities and towns were waiting to stage a comeback.
The Governments of Delhi, West Bengal and Kerala have already notified for opening the liquor shops on the stretches of State and National Highways in urban limits, while the Odisha Government opted for legal advice.
After receiving the apex court order, the Odisha Government, which has set a target of Rs 3,600 crore revenues from the Excise sector, had consulted senior legal experts.
This would help out at least 178 liquor shops, hotels and restaurants to open their liquor selling counters for the customers.
When the apex court banned liquor sale along highways on December 15, 2016, the State Government closed down 1,167 liquor shops from midnight of March 31. Now with this order, collection of excise revenue will receive a boost, feel officials.
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