Himachal Pradesh has gone a step ahead to amend its excise act which deals with the Supreme Court’s ruling on liquor ban on National and State highways pan India. The Supreme Court’s order on liquor ban policy that shook the entire nation off from its complacency was enforced in all the states with some of them trying hard to please the hotel authorities who are at the receiving end of losing out on employment opportunities and revenue for themselves.
After Punjab, hotels & bars of Himachal to Serve Liqour
Following the footsteps of Punjab, days after the state amended its excise act dealing with the liquor ban policy levied by Supreme Court with effect from April 1,2017, Himachal Pradesh government has also done the same in the state. Punjab had its own way of coming out of the issue to help hoteliers who suffered huge losses with Supreme Courts 2016 decision implemented at an all India level. Himachal government whose earlier petitions filed bore fruitful results in favour of the state have now another one such added advantage on the grounds of its ‘topographical terrain’ and geographical positioning which no other state enjoys.
Himachal Pradesh : Latest Amendment in Excise Policy
Let us take a look at the timeline of what Himachal state government came out gradually from the effect of SC’s liquor ban :
- Introduction of a new section 23A to deal with by-passing the ‘Liquor Ban’ law in Himachal State
- The new amendment is incorporated in the Excise Act, 2011 to re-define the same in HP
- The first amendment was introduced when it changed policy from 500 m to 220 m
- This was introduced in less populated areas of HP, Sikkim and Meghalya states
- The proximity distance was reduced on account of ‘topography’ and terrain of Himachal State
- The distance is measured from the ‘edge’ of a national highway in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal on Liquor Ban : What Authorities Say ?
The Excise and Taxation Commissioner of Himachal State has sent a notification on the Himachal state government’s stand on ‘Liquor ban’ introduced by the SC in India. With no official reasoning given out by the Officer on the amendment, the state’s stand clearly depicts it deliberate effort that too when it came into force when Punjab declared hundreds of kilometres of its highways to be local roads to reinstate hotels and bars suffering from huge monetary losses.
Expressing views on such de-notifications, SC finds the move of respective state governments just and fair too. So, the next time you see a liquor vend visibly evident from a 200 odd metre on a highway, you know you are in God’s own country, Himachal Pradesh !!!!
Source : HT
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