The Karnataka Excise Department has proposed the issuance of licenses for new liquor stores in the state, sparking controversy among the public. The plan includes 389 new liquor outlets operated by Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), licenses for liquor shops in Gram Panchayats with a population of 3,000, and the possibility of liquor sales in supermarkets. The proposal has faced criticism.
According to the Excise Department, the new proposal seeks permission to establish 389 new MSIL (CL-11C) shops, including 91 in Bengaluru North and South, 20 in Belagavi, 20 in Kalaburagi, 22 in Hospet, 51 in Mangalore, and 43 in Mysore city.
Specifically, the proposal seeks to establish 389 new MSIL (CL-11C) shops in various locations across the state. It also suggests reintroducing licenses for Independent Beer Outlets (R.V.B.) that were discontinued over a decade ago. Currently, there are 12,593 liquor outlets in the state, and the proposal aims to add 389 new MSIL (CL-11C) shops.
Additionally, the proposal recommends allowing liquor shops along national and state highways within Gram Panchayats with a population of 3,000. It also suggests legalizing about 40% of shops currently leased to individuals instead of licensees or lessees.
Regarding the Retail Vend of Beer (RVB), the proposal introduces a license fee of Rs. 2 lakh, marking the revival of these licenses after a long suspension. This change aims to level the playing field among businesses offering beer for sale. The proposal also introduces a new license category, CL-2(A), allowing liquor sales in malls and supermarkets in Bengaluru city and district centres, provided the establishment size is at least 7,500 sq. m.
Overall, the proposal is met with mixed reactions, with some seeing it as a way to adapt to changing retail trends and promote healthy competition, while others criticize it for potentially increasing liquor availability.