Bhubaneswar: Following protests by women in different parts of rural Odisha, the state government has decided not to grant new liquor shop licences in these areas during the year 2023-24.
In its new excise policy for the year 2023-24, the Odisha government said no new application for ‘ON’ shop license will be accepted for the rural areas in 2023-24.
Similarly, there will be no increase in the number of foreign liquor OFF, premium FL-OFF & CL (country liquor) shops for the year 2023-24. The license of existing FL-OFF & CL holders would be renewed for a period of one-year, i.e., up to the end of March, 2024.
However, in the urban areas, a new ‘ON’ shop license can be granted for only star hotels and other hotels having such a minimum number of rooms to be decided by the excise department, it said.
For new ‘ON’ licenses to be renewed in urban or rural areas, shops must adhere to basic infrastructure and hygiene requirements from a consumer point of view.
‘ON’ license may be granted to Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) and India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) hotels at half the applicable license fee, based on where the said hotels are located. No such concession is allowed for OTDC or ITDC hotels leased to private individuals, says the policy.
Like last year, the state government has decided to provide temporary licenses for liquor sale to OTDC at the eco-retreat venues at a promotional rate.
For tourism promotion, serving liquor in beach shacks is allowed in Odisha. The license for location and the number of beach shacks allowed for serving liquor will be based on the approval given by the tourism department.
As per the policy, the beach shacks will be allowed to operate throughout the year or for a period as decided by the tourism department, depending on climatic conditions. The operations of the beach shacks will be either through OTDC directly or through operators engaged by OTDC.
OTDC would also be responsible for ensuring that only Odisha-registered duty-paid liquor is served in such beach shacks, it said.
Common infrastructure for the beach shacks such as power connection, water supply, sewerage connections, solid waste management, etc., will be provided by OTDC or the relevant agency.
OTDC as a licensee will be responsible for ensuring compliance to all the licensing conditions as per the statute.
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