Panchkula: As the Supreme Court ordered closure of all liquor shops along national and state highways across the country in December 2016, around 15 liquor vends in Panchkula district could face closure leading to a revenue loss of around Rs 30 crore, claims government officials. The loss could be much more as the ban also has pubs, bars and restaurants under its purview. The apex court had directed all the governments to “cease and desist” from issuing excise licences along the national and state highways
It is mentioned that two national highways, Panchkula-Shimla and Panchkula-Yamunanagar, pass through the district, other than a state highway that passes through Raipur Rani.
Excise Deptt framing excise policy for 2017-18 keeping in view OF the apex court judgment
It is learnt that the Haryana Excise Department is framing new excise policy for 2017-18 keeping in view of the apex court’s judgment in a case. After this the excise department will call e-bids in March before allotment of vends and new owners will start operating from April 1. Earlier also, the sale of liquor on both state and national highways was prohibited but this time the apex court has specified the distance of vends.
The apex court had directed all the governments to “cease and desist” from issuing excise licences along the national and state highways
The apex court judgment of December 15, 2016, said, “No shop for the sale of liquor shall be (i) visible from a national or state highway, (ii) directly accessible from a national or state highway and (iii) situated within a distance of 500 meters of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of a service lane along the highway.”
“The condition of distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of the highway implies that vends have to be moved farther and we have to search for new locations,” informed Sanjiv Rathee, the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner.
When the Punjab and Haryana high court had banned liquor vends from operating on the national and state highways in 2014, the district had suffered a loss of around Rs 20 to Rs 25 crore.
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