'Liquor sale can be allowed in green districts'

Liquor sale can be allowed in green districts of Karnataka: Siddaramaiah

There is tremendous pressure on the BSY administration to revive the economy as the lockdown has dried up all revenue sources

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday suggested that the government can allow sale of liquor in green zones. 

“Merely because there is an economic slowdown in the state, I don’t recommend that alcohol should be allowed to be sold. But, wherever there are green districts, they can open (liquor sale) with certain restrictions, I think,” Siddaramaiah, the leader of the Opposition, told reporters. 

There are 14 districts in the state that are categorised as green because they do not have any active COVID-19 cases. The green districts are: Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Haveri, Davangere, Shivamogga, Chitradurga, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Kodagu, Chamarajanagar, Ramanagara and Kolar.

There is tremendous pressure on the B S Yediyurappa administration to revive the economy as the lockdown has dried up all revenue sources. Excise, alone, accounts for 18 per cent of Karnataka’s own tax revenue. 

The Excise department recently suggested allowing regulated sale of liquor through the state-run MSIL outlets. The government, however, did not approve it fearing crowding and backlash from the Centre.