The Karnataka Excise Department has proposed issuing licenses for new liquor stores, including MSIL outlets, beer shops, and supermarket liquor sales, leading to public criticism. The proposal also suggests legalizing individually leased shops and reviving licenses for Independent Beer Outlets (RVB) discontinued over a decade ago.
The Karnataka Excise Department has made a proposal to issue licenses for new liquor stores in the state. The proposal includes plans for 389 additional liquor outlets operated by Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), licenses for new liquor shops in Gram Panchayats with a population of 3,000, and the possibility of opening liquor stores in supermarkets. This proposal has faced criticism from the public.
The proposal also suggests bringing back licenses for Independent Beer Outlets (R.V.B.), which were discontinued over a decade ago. Currently, there are a total of 12,593 liquor outlets with various licenses in the state. The new proposal seeks permission to open 389 new MSIL (CL-11C) shops, including 91 in Bengaluru North and South, 20 in Belgaum, 20 in Kalaburagi, 22 in Hospet, 51 in Mangalore, and 43 in Mysore city, according to the Excise Department.
Furthermore, the proposal recommends allowing new liquor shops to open on both sides of national and state highways, within the boundaries of Gram Panchayats with a population of 3,000, under licenses such as CL-6A, CL-7, and CL-7A.
Addressing the issue of individual leases, the proposal suggests legalizing about 40% of the shops in the state that are currently leased to individuals instead of licensees or lessees. This can be achieved by paying the charter fee along with an additional 25% fee. The proposal also states that if the currently suspended licensees fail to reactivate their licenses after a one-month notice, those licenses can be auctioned.
Regarding Retail Vend of Beer (RVB), licenses can be issued for independently selling beer, with a proposed license fee of Rs. 2 lakh. This comes a decade after the suspension of RVB licenses in the state. Originally, 71 licenses were granted for retail beer sales only, but other establishments, such as Star Hotels and CL-7 license holders, had the option to offer beer on tap from kegs. The proposal includes provisions for granting separate licenses for such establishments.
Additionally, the proposal suggests allowing the sale of liquor on a lease basis in malls and supermarkets with an area of at least 7,500 sq. m in Bengaluru city and district centres under a new license category, CL-2(A).