More MSIL liquor shops only after survey of demand
Speaking to reporters in Bangalore on Monday, Excise Minister Satish Jarkiholi said demand for liquor had gone up especially in rural areas following the ban on sale of arrack. “We will conduct a survey to decide on the number of MSIL liquor outlets that need to be opened. However, there is no proposal to issue licences to open private liquor shops,” the minister said. At present, there are 400 MSIL liquor retail outlets across the State.
Jarkiholi said there was also a demand by bar and restaurant owners in Bangalore City that they be allowed to remain open till 1 am. He said it was for the Home Department to take a decision on the issue. “Home Minister K J George has said he would convene a meeting to discuss the matter,” Jarkiholi said. Liquor shops have been demanding that they be allowed to serve liquor and snacks over the counter. However, the government has not taken a decision on the issue.
The minister said there had been no change in sales of liquor following the hike in excise duty slabs which came into effect on August 1. The excise department was on the right track to meet the target of Rs 12,400 crore set for the current fiscal. He said the department has cracked down on spurious liquor and 95 per cent of such sales had been eliminated.
A state-level academy for training officials of the excise department on the lines of police department would be opened soon. The government has already identified 60 acres of land for setting up the academy at Sira in Tumkur district.
The department has issued orders for shifting of four liquor shops in Bangalore following complaints that they are located near places of worship or schools.