(Media Swaraj Desk)
Lucknow . The Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh has changed law to allow sale of liquor in shopping Malls.
To facilitate the sale of certain categories of liquors in Malls within the state
the Cabinet has approved “The Uttar Pradesh Excise (Settlement of Licenses for Premium Retail Vends of Foreign Liquor) Rules, 2020” .
Principal Secretary, Excise Department, Sanjay R. Bhoosreddy has informed that so far foreign liquor is being sold in retail shops and model shops. Earlier there was no provision for sale of foreign liquor in Malls. Licenses in form F.L-4-C will be granted for retail sale of Foreign Liquor in sealed bottles in Malls. These vends will be in addition to the existing shops.
Earlier the Uttar Pradesh government had allowed opening of liquor shops during Covid _ 19 lockdown while markets were closed. Huge crowd rushed to purchase liquor resulting in violation of social distancing norms.
This decision was widely criticised , But the government justified saying it needs revenue .
According to an official press release the Premium Retail Vend can sell only those categories of Foreign Liquor authorised by the Excise Commissioner. Consumption of alcohol on the premises of the vend is not allowed. The Premium Retail Vend can sell only:-
- imported foreign liquor brands (BIO)
- IMFL brands of Scotch or above category
- all categories of Brandi, Gin and Wine
- brands of Vodka and Rum with MRP of more than Rs. 700 and above, and brands of Beer with MRP of more than Rs.160.00 per can of 500 ml or equivalent.
The press release says ,“Keeping in view the increasing trend of shopping in Malls, the Rules have been framed allowing sale of premium brands of liquor in Malls. These vends will give choice and provide access to wide variety of liquor brands both Indian and imported to liquor connoisseurs, besides giving a better shopping experience. “
The decision may invite strong reactions from certain sections of the society.