Bengaluru: State Minister for Excise Golapaliah has urged the government to ease curfew rules to allow the sale of liquor during the weekends. “If the sale of liquor is not allowed the State exchequer will suffer a loss of Rs. 75 crore per day,” he pointed out. He had suggested this during the Karnataka cabinet meeting on Thursday at Vidhana Soudha, chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. “However, the cabinet has not taken any decision on these suggestions” Goapalaiah added.
J.C. Maadhuswamy, another cabinet minister, supported Gopalaiah’s suggestion and said, “Perhaps the government should allow the liquor outlets in the state to operate for a few hours during the day time.” The government had issued orders to all police stations to close all the liquor outlets in their respective jurisdictions and seal them if needed during the weekend from Friday evening to Monday morning. According to a top government functionary, the decision to keep the liquor outlets open has been left to the discretion of the respective Deputy Commissioners of the districts.
According to the Karnataka state liquor merchants association office-bearers in Bengaluru and Mangaluru, they have sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Excise minister to allow the liquor outlets to be open for a few hours. The Excise department officials have pointed out that cities like Bengaluru and Mangaluru consumed IML (India Made Liquor) FML (Foreign Made Liquour) and Beer to the value of Rs. 40 crore per day which is an indication of the thriving liquor business. Rest of Karnataka consumes liquor worth about Rs 35 crore a day.