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The excise policy pending for a long time will be put up before a cabinet meeting on Sunday (February 19).

Besides the excise policy, the proposed Rs 3 lakh-crore (approx) Budget will be presented to the cabinet.

The excise policy was presented to the cabinet on January 31 last year, but because of former chief minister Uma Bharti’s protests against the sale of liquor in the state, the draft policy could not be presented before the cabinet for approval.

The government is planning to include some of the demands of Uma in the new excise policy.

The main demand of Uma is to close the Ahatas and set up the liquor outlets from religious places, from the educational institutions, from the colonies where the labourers live, from the hospitals and from the courts.

She also demanded that big hoardings should be put up highlighting the ill effects of liquor.

The government is mulling over her proposal for campaigning against the sale of liquor.

The cabinet will discuss her other demands like opening liquor outlets away from educational institutions and religious places.

The government, however, may not consider her demand for increasing as much distance between liquor shops, schools and religious places as she is asking for. The liquor outlets may be set up 50 meters away.

According to sources, the cabinet will decide whether the liquor shops can be set up 200 or 250 meters away from educational institutions and religious places.

Nevertheless, the government is not going to consider shutting of Ahatas. The government is planning to make a stringent law for Ahatas.

The laws for opening Ahatas will be so stringent that their number may decline. On the other hand, the government is trying to pacify Bharti.

She has set her eyes on the new excise policy. On the other hand, the government will try to assess the attitude of Bharti after the new excise policy gets the cabinet nod.

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