Now, booze 365 days in West Bengal

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Updated: August 23, 2016 4:32:31 PM

Even as clamour for liquor ban on the lines of neighbouring Bihar has been increasing in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government has practically done away with dry days in the state.

Putting to rest the row over the proposed move to introduce online foreign liquor trade, government made it clear that no such decision has been taken. (Reuters)The government’s bold move ahead of the festival season has been termed “pragmatic” by many industrialists as it will stop the scramble to stock up liquor on the eve of all dry days. (Reuters)

Even as clamour for liquor ban on the lines of neighbouring Bihar has been increasing in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government has practically done away with dry days in the state. Now, bars in three-star hotels and above and clubs of the state will have the permission to serve liquor on all 365 days of a year, according to The Telegraph.

The state has also reduced the number of dry days from 12 to four-and-a-half-days. The government’s bold move ahead of the festival season has been termed “pragmatic” by many industrialists as it will stop the scramble to stock up liquor on the eve of all dry days.

According to the report, the dry days will be on: Republic Day, Independence Day, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, 10th day of Muharram and Dol Jatra (up to 2 pm), while liquor shops will remain open on festival days like Id-ul-Fitr, Kali Puja and Vijaya Dashami. However, liquor sale outlets would continue to remain closed on the day of the monthly closing each month.

A notification in this regard was issued on August 16 by the excise directorate. “The way the order has been drafted suggests the dry days will not apply to three-star hotels and above and clubs,” the Telegraph reported. The new list of dry days in West Bengal is similar to those existing in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. States like Gujarat and Bihar have imposed total prohibition.

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