The Karnataka government Friday allowed the sale of liquor in hotels, bars, restaurants, and clubs at retail price, till May 17 through takeaway facility only.
An order issued by the state excise department said that hotels, bars, restaurants and clubs can sell beers and Indian-made liquor (IML) for a week between 9 am to 7 pm through takeaway.
The order comes after requests by the owners of restaurants, bars, and clubs to clear their old stocks by allowing them to sell liquor since few drinks have a short shelf life and would be wasted if not sold.
The department has allowed the conditional sale of liquor from such establishments only till their stock lasts.
However, according to officials, the bars and pubs within the containment zones are not allowed to sell any liquor.
The order is applicable to standalone CL-4 (clubs), CL-7 (hotels and lodges), and CL-9 (bar) license outlets only. The department has directed the pubs, bars, and restaurants to maintain social distancing during the sale. The state government has also allowed transporting liquor stocks from these stores to CL-2 (MRP) outlets.
Starting from 4 May, the Karnataka government has relaxed restrictions on wine shops, MRP outlets, and Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) stores which had been closed since March 25, following the nationwide lockdown.
Liquor stores were allowed to sell only three bottles of spirits and six bottles of 650 ML beer or 12 bottles of 330 ML beer per person. Karnataka recorded liquor sales of nearly Rs 638 crore on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Since Monday, around 3,950 retail shops and 829 MSIL stores are open across the state to sell liquor.
After the standalone liquor shops were reopened many people gathered outside shops, violating social distancing norms. Customers were seen at liquor outlets standing in queues since early morning.
Earlier, the state government had also raised tax on liquor by a sharp 11 per cent on top of a 6 per cent hike on excise that the government had announced in its budget for 2020-2021, taking the total hike in taxes to 17 per cent.
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