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Home >News >India >Karnataka, Delhi, Assam, Goa allow liquor sale, Kerala says it'll have to wait

While a number of Indian states said they'll resume liquor sale following the latest guidelines from Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Kerala said it'll be delaying the sale.

The Delhi government allowed the liquor sale as long as it's not happening at malls and market complexes. "All standalone (single) shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any distinction of essential and non-essential," say the MHA guidelines.

Delhi government has written to Excise Department to provide lists of L-6 (retail vendors of Indian liquor in public sector) and L-8 (retail vendors of country liquor in public sector) shops immediately, which conform to the criteria prescribed by Ministry of Home Affairs

Karnataka will resume sale of liquor in all places of the state except in containment zones, the state government said on Saturday.

H. Nagesh, the state's excise minister said that sale of liquor will resume in all parts except containment zones.

"Only Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) and MRP shops will be open and from 9 am to 7 pm," one person from the excise ministry said.

The Assam government on Saturday allowed reopening of liquor outlets across the state with immediate effect, an Excise Department official said.

All shops selling foreign and country-made liquor across the state are allowed to operate with immediate effect, Additional Commissioner of Excise, S K Medhi said in an order.

The Assam government had earlier allowed the sale of liquor from April 12 but had to stop it after three days following a directive from the Centre.

According to Dattaprasad Naik, president of the Goa Liquor Traders Association, sales may drop by as much as 70 per cent, due to the absence of tourism to begin with, as soon as liquor stores in the state open.

However, liquor sale is not extended to those living in a containment zone for whom strict adherence to lockdown will remain a must.

Welcoming the MHA's relaxation of norms, which allows opening of liquor stores with strict social distancing norms, Naik told PTI that it was the first step towards normalising the liquor trade in the state.

"Liquor stores and pan shops will be allowed to function in all zones while ensuring a minimum six feet distance from each other and ensuring that not more than five persons are present at one time at the shop," the MHA statement said.

Meanwhile, contrary to the Centre's announcement, the Kerala government, on Saturday, decided to keep the liquor shops shut.

According to the new central norms, liquor shops can be allowed to open after May 4.

"None need to worry. It's only temporary measure," said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after chairing the daily Covid-19 review meeting.

(With agency inputs)

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