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Liquor sold over-the-counter in Bhubaneswar, violates government order

Bhubaneswar: Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) outlets in the Bhubaneswar were seen selling liquor to customers at different wine shops on Monday. This is in violation of the Odisha government order dated May 23 which had permitted only home delivery of liquor by Swiggy and Zomato, while disallowing sale of liquor at counters.

As per reports, the gross violation of law by both dealers and booze lovers was seen at a counter in Bapuji Nagar at the heart of the city, Cuttack Road and Chandrasekharpur as well where tipplers had gathered to buy liquor which they cited as a treat that eluded them for almost two months due to the lockdown enforced in view of novel coronavirus outbreak.

As per the Odisha government’s guideline, sale of IMFL in the State was allowed only through online mode. It had allowed home delivery of liquor from the existing ON and OFF shops of IMFL and Beer situated in areas other than containment zones and shopping malls by amending the relevant provisions under Excise Rules, 2017.

The notification by the State Excise Department had clearly stated that there will be no counter sale of liquor by excise licensees.

However, the law and its enforcement went up in smoke this morning as some India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) retail outlets began counter sale of liquor, when government is yet to grant permission regarding the same.

Guntha a staff of Star Wine in Bhubaneswar said, “People don’t want liquor to be home delivered. They want to purchase from the counter itself and I am doing what the customers want me to do.

Star Wine, a retail outlet at Bapuji Nagar area in Bhubaneswar was seen selling liquor to people early in the morning. They downed their shutter once the police reached the spot hearing the sale of liquor at the counter, said Prabhakar, a staff. Another retail outlet at Bhubaneswar’s busy Damana square in Chandrasekhapur was too spotted selling liquor to customers today.

Khurda Excise Superintendent, Prasanna Acharya said, “We have not allowed over-the-counter sales yet. All the liquor dealers were advised to make their sales through online mode only. The shops which are open will be forcefully shut down.”

It is pertinent to mention here that IMFL trader associations are demanding over-the-counter sale of alcohol apart from the online sale. They have requested the government to consider both online and offline sale of liquor as only online sale will not help the traders meet the target.

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News Live Odisha

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