Bhopal: Shivraj Singh Chauhan government made a significant change in the excise policy on Sunday. Now the Liquor courtyards will be closed in the state. There will be no arrangement for serving liquor while sitting in the shops. There will be no liquor shop within 100 meters of religious place, educational institution, girl’s hostel. The provisions for suspension of diving license for drunken driving will be more stringent. All the members of the Council of Ministers welcomed the provisions of the policy by thumping the table. It is notable that no new liquor shop has been opened in the state since 2010.
The excise policy for the year 2023 was approved in the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Several steps have been taken to discourage alcohol in it. In view of the questions being raised regarding the issue of liquor in liquor shops and law and order from the premises, the government has decided that they will be closed. In the state, there was a system of serving liquor by sitting at two thousand 580 courtyards and 31 shops. Former Chief Minister Uma Bharti was also demanding that the courtyards be closed. Also, there should be no liquor shops near religious places. Home Minister Dr. Narottam Mishra said that during the Narmada Seva Yatra also, the Chief Minister had decided to close 64 liquor shops falling within five kilometers radius of the Narmada river.
Taking this forward, it has been decided to end the system of serving liquor by sitting in the courtyards and shops. The Chief Minister also said that if there is protest against any liquor shop, a decision will be taken regarding its closure. The budget will also be increased to run the campaign of de-addiction. For the renewal of liquor shops, the shop operators will have to pay ten percent more fee. If the shopkeepers do not accept the fee hike, then the process of auctioning the shops will be done.
Departmental officials said that so far there was a provision not to open liquor shops within 50 meters of religious places, educational institutions and hospitals, this has been increased to 100 meters. A survey will be conducted to assess how many shops will be affected by this. There are a total of three thousand 608 liquor shops in the state. The budget proposal for the year 2023-24 was also approved in the meeting. In this, provision has been kept for Ladli Bahana Yojana, increase in capital, urban and rural development, infrastructure development. Pic Credit: Internet