After facing a huge loss in excise revenue collections, the Karnataka Government has revived its plan to open around 900 liquor shops across the state. The state had been facing major losses in excise revenue collections after the Supreme Court had ordered closure of liquor shops within 500 m of highways.
As per reports, the government plans to open 30 liquor shops in Bengaluru. The new liquor shops which are to be opened across the state will be run by Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL).
Commenting on the matter, additional chief secretary (finance) ISN Prasad said that the plan to open liquor shops is being taken up in phases to make up for the losses in revenue.
The government’s plan of opening 900 liquor shops was passed last year by the finance department. However, after facing strong condemnation from the Opposition, the proposal was shelved. The government was being accused of pushing people into debt by opening liquor shops at the time when the state was under drought.
Following the order, the MSIL had called in for tenders for at least 350 shops in first phase.
Along the tender, the condition put forward by the MSIL is that the shops would have detachable furniture so that outlets could be shifted to other locations when needed.
Commenting on the matter, an excise official said that the demand for liquor shops has gone up after the bars and pubs were closed in the after math of SC’s liquor ban order.
The government had originally planned to open more MSIL retail liquor outlets in the state following complaints of sale of liquor above MRP and failure of licence holders to open shops in rural areas, official added.