If new Excise Minister Manohar Tahsildar has his way, Karnataka may soon issue licences for new liquor shops in the state after 23 years.
According to a report in The New IndianExpress, Tahsildar recently expressed that he was keen on issuing fresh licences for opening 1,750 wine outlets and bars in the state.
It was in 1992, that the government had put a hold on issuing licenses for new liquor outlets in the state.
"In 1992, the number of wine stores and bars was restricted after taking into account the population figures of the 1991 Census. No new licences have been issued since 1992. The population in the state has seen a sharp rise in the last two-and-a-half decades. Another 1,750 liquor shops could be opened to meet the needs of the present population for quality liquor at a reasonable price.
We are considering the proposal and I have discussed the issue with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, but no decision has been taken yet," Tahsildar is quoted as saying on Sunday by TNIE.
He further stated that such a move would also help in generating employment "for youths from the backward communities and Dalits, bringing additional revenue for the government and curb the menace of spurious liquor."
Though proposals to issue fresh licenses were sent to successive state governments in the last two decades, not decision was taken on the issue as parties feared political backlash, the report adds.