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Centre rejects Punjab govt’s proposal to open liquor vends

In a letter by Ashish Kumar Singh, Under Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the state government has been informed that the relaxation in selling of liquor cannot be given.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | Published: April 24, 2020 1:19:26 am
BJP attacks Congress over liquor 'smuggling' The letter states, “The sale of liquor cannot be allowed in public places under the consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15 (Picture for representation)

Two days after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked Centre to allows state to open liquor vends considering the funds crunch, the Centre has rejected the proposal.

In a letter by Ashish Kumar Singh, Under Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the state government has been informed that the relaxation in selling of liquor cannot be given.

The letter states, “The sale of liquor cannot be allowed in public places under the consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15…It is further clarified that the sale of liquor cannot be allowed through home delivery.”

Before the CM writing a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking opening of liquor vends to help the state generate revenue, the Punjab government had also written a letter to the Centre on April 15 seeking home delivery of liquor. While demanding that the liquor vends should be allowed to be opened, the CM had said that Punjab has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore during lockdown period. Every month, the state earns over Rs 550 crore in excise duty from sale of liquor. But due to lockdown, the vends have been shut.

Amarinder, while reacting to the rejection said, “I am suffering a loss of Rs 6200 crore. Will the Centre pay for this? They do not give a single Rupee.They are not even giving my GST compensation. Liquor is a major revenue source of all states. “

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