A good news for the Bacchus lovers as well as the owners and managements of hotels, clubs and restaurants as Punjab government on Monday issued notification to amend the Punjab Excise Act, paving the way for these establishments to serve liquor even if these are along the national highway. As per the notification issued by Vivek Puri, Secretary, Department of Legal and Legislative Affairs, liquor vends shall mean retail shops that are licensed to sell liquor and shall not include any hotels, clubs or restaurants.
Government issues amendment notification to allow catering establishments to provide liquor to customers as long as it is consumed On their premises.The amendments in the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, clarify that the ‘club’ means any person or body of persons providing services, facilities or advantages, primarily to its members, for a subscription or any other amount. Further, the insertion of Clause 11-a now defines that hotel includes a building or part of a building where residential accommodation is, by way of business, provided for a monetary consideration.And by adding Section 14-a, the government has clarified that liquor vends shall mean retail shops that are licensed to sell liquor and shall not include any hotels, clubs or restaurants. Further, the ‘sale of liquor’ means the ‘transfer of liquor for consideration by a liquor vend for consumption by the purchaser at a place other than the premises of liquor vend.’ And the ‘supply of liquor’ means the ‘provision of liquor for consideration at clubs, hotels, restaurants and any other notified place on the basis of a licence issued on the condition that such liquor shall be consumed within the premises of such hotels, clubs, restaurant and other notified place.’In other words, catering establishments will now be allowed to provide liquor to customers as long as it is consumed on their premises. This is all aimed at creating a loophole aimed at sidestepping the Supreme Court ban on watering holes within 500 metres of state and national highways.
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