In response to the numerous queries from Gujarat residents, the state’s department of prohibition and excise has released a set of ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQs) on Tuesday, aiming to clarify the regulations surrounding the new relaxation in the consumption of liquor in GIFT City. The FAQs emphasize that existing liquor permit holders cannot currently utilize their permits for drinking in GIFT City under the new relaxation, and the new law will only be applicable once the government issues an official notification.

According to the FAQs, violations of the new law in the GIFT City area, whether by the licensing authority or permit holders, can lead to prosecution under the existing Gujarat Prohibition Act, 1949, along with other applicable laws. While the official government resolution on the relaxed prohibition policy, allowing for a ‘wine and dine’ facility in GIFT City, is yet to be issued, department officials anticipate the processes to be in place within a week.

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The state has announced the introduction of an FL-3 license, requiring establishments such as hotels, clubs, and restaurants (existing and upcoming, with food facilities) to serve liquor to GIFT City employees and authorized visitors. Applicants must submit the necessary documentation to the director of the Prohibition department, subject to verification by a government-appointed committee. FL-3 license holders will be under CCTV surveillance and are required to maintain details of liquor stock.

However, the FAQs specify that existing permit holders for liquor consumption in the state, such as health permit holders, visitor permit holders, and tourist permit holders, cannot use their permits in GIFT City for drinking in establishments with an FL-3 license.

The issuance of ‘Liquor Access Permits’ to GIFT City unit employees and Temporary Permits for visitors will be managed by authorized officials. FL-3 license holders are permitted to serve only to Liquor Access Permit and Temporary Permit holders. Violations by license and permit holders will result in prosecution under the Gujarat Prohibition Act and other existing laws.

The FAQs also address the importance of responsible drinking practices, stating that driving after drinking is unlawful. Individuals leaving GIFT City limits after consuming alcohol must carry their permits and present them when requested by the responsible authority.

While the official standard operating procedures (SOPs) are pending issuance, the department aims to address public queries through the FAQs, emphasizing that the relaxation is not enforceable until the official government resolution is enacted.