Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Friday came up with a new excise policy for the year 2018-19 seeking improvement in the efficiency of processes associated with manufacture, import, export, transport and sale of alcoholic beverages while attaching due priority to health and well-being of the citizens of the State.

As per the excise department, there will be no increase in number of Foreign Liquor-OFF & Country Liquor shops except the Model Premium Foreign Liquor OFF shop recommended at Airports.

However in order to protect government revenue and to not allow any area go dry for long, shops which were sanctioned in the past but not operational as on April 1, 2018 due to any reasons whatsoever, would be settled afresh through lottery.

The department stated that 'ON' license shall not be granted in shopping complexes, malls and in rural areas. However, new 'ON' license may be issued in rural areas only for private hotels having lodging facility for at least 6 rooms or those lodges run by Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), defense establishments and other similar establishments.

This apart, new 'ON' license may also be granted to star hotels which are parts of shopping malls. The beer parlours would be allowed to sell beer as well as RTDs, sources said.

Meanwhile, the policy further stated that no shop in Scheduled Area shall be renewed if the Gram Sabha has any objection and license will not be granted for any new Bhang shop.

It will be mandatory for an 'OFF' shop to display the following things prominently: I. Rate list.

  1. Opening /Closing time.

III. Age group which is not allowed to buy.

  1. Health warning i.e. "Excess alcohol consumption is injurious to health"

Moreover, no license shall be granted to a liquor shop having the name of deities / eminent personalities (living on dead) which can hurt the sentiments of the people. The policy warned that liquor shops will not be allowed to use the word 'Sarkari' or ‘government’ in the nameplate. Instead, the license holder may use 'Licensed FL OFF shop' signage.

The excise policy clearly mentioned that Maximum Retail Price (MRP) will be displayed on each bottle of FMFL, IMFL, Wine, Beer and Country Liquor and sold accordingly.

Apart from this, the vendors are required to issue cash memo on demand to all consumers and not charge above MRP, failing which the vendors shall be penalized.