KOLAR: If you see big queues from Monday in front of certain shops, with people duly standing 6 feet apart from each other, these are the customers come to buy their ‘cheering’ commodity. Get ready to buy booze as liquor shops are set to reopen from Monday across the State. Conditions apply. Mind you, these are only takeaway sales. Karnataka will see sales after 40 days of dryness. The state government was under pressure to reopen liquor shops. Excise is the biggest revenue generator.
CL-11C (state-run retails shops such as MSIL) and CL-2 (retail shops only for selling liquor) will be opened from 9am to 7pm. An order in this regard will be issued with conditions, said Excise Minister Nagesh. Speaking to TNSE, the minister said that as per the orders of the Union government, the state government decided to open all the MSIL outlets and wine -liquor shop across the State, except in containment zones. He said MSIL and liquor shops will be opened in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kalaburagi and other places too, but not in the containment areas.
The minister also clarified that restaurants, pubs and liquor shops in the mall will not be allowed to open, and people can purchase any quantity of liquor. Bringing cheer to tipplers, he said there is absolutely no shortage of stock in Karnataka. The Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Limited will be allowed to function, he said. He said instructions will be given to excise officials to permit opening of MSIL outlets and liquor shops (only parcel service), in safer places within the districts identified as red zone. Nagesh said orders will be issued that compulsorily six feet social distancing should be maintained in all the shops, that sellers and customers should wear masks.
Liquor shops to be checked daily
The excise officials were asked to check on day-to-day basis and submit a report in detail. If any liquor shop violated the conditions, action will be initiated, he said. Nagesh also said strict measures to check illicit liquor sale across the state will continue.
Revenue loss The minister said that due to the ban on liquor, so far the state government has lost Rs 3,000 crore in revenue and the annual revenue generation expected is Rs 23,000 crore. Opening of liquor shops will bring financial stability in the state to some extent, he said.