Country Liquor Shops In Madhya Pradesh Will Be Upgraded To Sell Foreign Liquor

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh government on Monday ratified a new excise policy with a clause that was previously disapproved by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan more than once. Notification has been issued that country liquor shops will now have the permission to sell foreign liquor. This proposal which has been accepted by the state cabinet was last year criticised by chief minister Chouhan who had sent back the proposal to the department saying he wanted it dropped. 

However, this year government has taken the decision to introduce foreign liquor in country liquor shops with the sole intention of raising more revenue for the state exchequer. Finance minister Jayant Malaiyya defended the government, "We need revenue for developmental works." 

The Congress is not in favour of the government's move. Speaking to TOI, state PCC chief spokesman KK Mishra countered, "This is not how a welfare state runs. If raising revenue is the priority of the government, then next they should start issuing licences for starting casinos." 
 

Sources in the government said that revenue will be adversely hit with the government's decision to withdraw all liquor shops within 5 km on either side of the Narmada river. Furthermore, with the Supreme Court's December order, government also has to remove hooch outlets within 500 metres from national highways. 

According to minister for water resources and state government spokesman Narottam Mishra, no licence for new liquor shops have been given by the state government in the past four years. Presently, there are 5.1 liquor shops per one lakh population. 

However, under the state government's Narmada Seva Yatra and river rejuvenation programme, council of ministers have decided to shut-down 58 liquor shops falling within five km from the banks of the Narmada. These shops are spread over the districts of Hoshangabad, Dewas, Khandwa, Khargone, Jabalpur, Narsinghpur, Raisen, Sehore and Harda. 

Obeying Supreme Court order to shift liquor shops beyond 500 metres from National highways, state has decided to merge 1,427 hooch stores from these areas to neighbouring stores. After merger of shops to the next nearest outslet, excise duty rates and licence fee of both shops will be added for payment to government. Meanwhile, district committees will be assigned the job to decide which `desi' liquor outlets can be upgraded to sell foreign liquor also. These shops will be renovated and decorated for the sale of foreign liquor. 

 

 

SOURCE: Times Of India

 

 

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