Foreign Brands At Elite Liquor Outlets In Telangana Soon 

31 Oct, 2016 09:56 IST|Sakshi
Sources said the excise department had issued GO Ms No:271 dated 26.10.2016 facilitating licensees to set up elite liquor outlets. However, the GO was not published online and kept a secret. 

Hyderabad: Telangana Government is coming out with something that can cheer up people who love foreign liquor. The state government has reportedly issued orders facilitating special elite foreign liquor outlets. The new elite foreign liquor outlets are allowed to sell about 100 types of foreign brands. Sources said the excise department had issued GO Ms No:271 dated 26.10.2016 facilitating licensees to set up elite liquor outlets.

However, the GO was not published online and kept a secret. The government normally uploads all GOs on its website. In case, it doesn’t want to disclose the contents of GO, it categorizes it as confidential but still uploads the GO.

Permitting elite liquor outlets to sell foreign liquor brands in addition to premium Indian liquor brands, has turned out to be controversial as existing liquor shop owners have cried foul over these orders alleging that they were issued to give undue benefit to certain individuals at the cost of normal liquor shops.

Wine shop owners criticize the government for showing favouritism towards elite liquor outlets by liberalizing several norms and alleged huge corruption in this deal. Wine shop owners further demanded the state government to order an inquiry to bring out the facts behind it.

The new licence fee is Rs1.25 crore for elite foreign liquor outlet and existing wine shop is Rs1crore leaving the difference amount of only Rs25 lakh. In addition to this, several exemptions are given to elite stores.

Wineshop owners said: “The timings are also relaxed for foreign liquor outlets till 12 midnight, whereas existing wine shops are allowed till 11pm. Wineshops are forced to cough up Rs two lakh additionally for permit rooms, but foreign liquor outlets are allowed sitting facility in the name of ‘tasting’ option. As per the existing norms, wine shops should be located 100 meters away from national and state highways, but foreign liquor outlets are allowed within 50 meters. Moreover, the difference amount in licence fee is only Rs25 lakh. Wine shop owners are not allowed to sell even water. Foreign liquor outlets are allowed to sell everything. Their licence period is for five years while ours is two years. These examples are enough to show how officials favoured certain individuals. If foreign liquor outlets come into existence, we will suffer huge losses.”

At present, only select 25 shops located at Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Madhapur ares only selling foreign liquor. Existing wineshops sell Indian made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and domestic beer and wine brands. Elite foreign liquor outlets are allowed to sell foreign liquor and IMFL as well. Whiskey with basic price above Rs2,000 and wine with basic price above Rs1,000 are allowed for elite foreign liquor outlets. It's learnt that there wouldn't be any cap on number of foreign liquor outlets. The licence period for elite foreign liquor outlet is five years, while it's two years only for existing wine shops.

Wineshop owners said: "The timings are also relaxed for foreign liquor outlets till 12 midnight, whereas existing wine shops are allowed till 11pm. Wineshops are forced to cough up Rs two lakh additionally for permit rooms, but foreign liquor outlets are allowed sitting facility in the name of 'tasting' option. As per the existing norms, wine shops should be located 100 meters away from national and state highways, but foreign liquor outlets are allowed within 50 meters. Moreover, the difference amount in licence fee is only Rs25 lakh. Wine shop owners are not allowed to sell even water. Foreign liquor outlets are allowed to sell everything. Their licence period is for five years while ours is two years. These examples are enough to show how officials favoured certain individuals. If foreign liquor outlets come into existence, we will suffer huge losses."

Read More:
More News
Entertainment