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Govt order allows renewal of liquor licences in city limits

NT NETWORK

 

PANAJI

The Commissioner of Excise on Monday issued an order to allow the renewal of licences of liquor outlets within the municipal areas of the state.

The order was issued after the Supreme Court clarified and excluded liquor outlets within municipal areas from its ban order.

With this order, approximately 1,200 licences are expected to be renewed by the office of the Commissioner of Excise.

The order states that the in-charges of excise stations are hereby directed to proceed to renew the licences of retail sale of liquor by the licensees located within their respective jurisdiction for the area covered under municipal areas, provided all other requirements for grant/renewal of the licences are fully met as provided under the Goa Excise Act and Rules 1964.

“From tomorrow, we will start the renewal of approximately 1,200 licences of outlets falling under the municipal areas. We have briefed our excise inspectors about all changes so that they can expedite the work. The only thing that people would be required to submit is NOC from the municipal body or any trade permitted licence granted by the municipal authority to prove that they were operating from the municipal areas, apart from the challans and documents which are normally asked by the excise department,” said Excise Commissioner Amit Satija while speaking to media persons in Panaji.

“Once these 1,200 licences are renewed, the order to measure the distance by approachable road for the outlets falling within the 220-metre distance, which has been already issued by the state government, will be implemented by the next two weeks. The criteria of visibility from highways will also be taken into consideration,” he added.

It may be recalled that from April 1, the Supreme Court ruling came into effect which ordered that liquor shops along 500-metre distance from national and state highways should be closed down. In Goa, the order had a huge impact because the NH17A and NH17B cut across several areas. Around 3,200 liquor outlets had to be shut down of the total 11,974, affecting scores of livelihood. Subsequently, 1,000 liquor outlets were saved as the apex court reduced the distance from 500 metres to 220 metres. With this current order, another 1,200 outlets will be saved, which makes it a total of 2,200 outlets saved out of the approximately 3,200 outlets.

Satija said that approximately between 800 to 1,200 odd licences which fall within the radius of 220 metres will remain affected till any further fresh order granting relief is issued either by the Supreme Court or the state government.

“The people who are still affected have been given the option to shift to any other place which is beyond the limit set by the Supreme Court, in the next three years and the department will not charge any extra fee for that and it can be transferred or shifted without any extra charge,” he said. Satija further said that the government will take legal opinion and then take a decision to file a review petition before the Supreme Court against the ban order.

Earlier, the Goa Liquor Traders Association (GLTA) members visited Satija in his office and offered him a bouquet of flowers expressing their gratitude for acting in a speedy manner following the apex court’s clarification.

“As promised, the Commissioner kept his word in providing relief to 1,200 families. We thank him for that. The GLTA has full faith in the state government that it will present Goa’s case in such a way that we will get 100 per cent relief,” said GLTA president Dattaprasad Naik.

 

Source: Govt order allows renewal of liquor licences in city limits

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