Karnataka government to issue licenses to open 1000 new liquor shops in state?
During Siddaramaiah's regime as chief minister, his announcement of issuing licenses to open 1000 new bars met with severe criticisms. Following this, the Karnataka government then dropped the plan.
Karnataka's coalition government is all set to give permission to open liquor stores. It has given direction to conduct census of people to decide how many liquor shops can be opened in taluks (sub-divisions), according to the population.
A circular in this regard has been sent by the Excise Commissioner to all deputy excise commissioners. A proposal on the need for new retail liquor shops is awaited by the officers.
Thus all deputy commissioners of excise department are busy surveying the number of people and related documents. The report in this regard is expected to be submitted to the government by the end of September.
Walking back on their promise?
The government had initially announced that license will not be given to open new bars. In fact, during Siddaramaiah's government in the previous term as chief minister, his announcement of issuing licenses to open 1000 new bars faced backlash. Following this, the Karnataka government then dropped the plan.
In 2016-17 the number of retail liquor shops was 3,953 that decreased to 3,920 in 2017-18. According to 2011 census, it was decided to have one liquor shop per 15,000 people in rural areas. In towns, the number decided was one per 7,500 people. Considering the fact that there has been a steep increase in the population since then, at least 1,000 new liquor shops might come up in the state.