LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval to an excise department proposal relaxing the norms for setting up and operating bars in the state. The department had proposed three key amendments to the existing policy.
First, entrepreneurs and businessmen interested in opening up a bar in UP will not have to scout for 200 sq mt space. The excise department has brought down the minimum area required to establish a bar to 100 sq mt.
“The Uttar Pradesh Excise (Grant of Bar Licences) Rules, 2020 have been amended to this effect. We went through the demands of the liquor industry players. Due to Covid-19, they had suffered huge losses. Doing business in a bigger space was not financially viable due to steep real estate rates. The requirement has been brought down to half now,” said an officer of the department.
In other relaxations offered, the mandate to seek a commercial licence from the urban local bodies to operate a bar has been done away with. Besides, the provision which made it compulsory for the licensee to obtain a completion certificate of his/her portion from the local development or housing body has also been scrapped.
Instead of stressing on the completion certificate of the structure which houses the bar, the department will now accept the approved plan of the building or complex where the bar is being planned.
Excise commissioner Senthil C Pandian said that the relaxations will help in attracting more players to the state’s food and beverages business. “It will result in increased investments and employment opportunities. Due to less entry barriers, entrepreneurs will be able to open bars in semi-rural locations as well,” Pandian said.
In the last financial year, UP had almost 650 pubs, hotels, restaurants and bars while only 598 licences have been issued to such establishments this year so far. In Lucknow, 125 bars were operational in 2021-22. However, this time only 111 licences to operate bars have been issued.
Member of liquor sellers’ welfare association of UP, Devesh Jaiswal, said, “The decision of the state government is positive. Traders and the business community had suffered the most during the pandemic. The revised rules are going to boost business as norms have been relaxed.”
The department gives four type of bar licences in the state which include FL6 and FL6A to hotels (annual fee in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh), FL7 to restaurants, pubs and bars (Rs 10 lakh) and FL7C to operate bars in clubs (Rs 3 lakh).
The above news was originally posted on timesofindia.indiatimes.com