Irked by the loss of business, the Federation of Wine Merchants’ Association of Karnataka has declared the bandh.

Liquor ban Karnataka wine merchants association protests calls for bandh on April 20
news Liquor Ban Saturday, April 08, 2017 - 09:51

Around 70% of the liquor shop owners in the state have been affected by the Supreme Court order banning liquor shops in the vicinity of highways.

Irked by the loss of business, the Federation of Wine Merchants’ Association of Karnataka has declared April 20 as a bandh to protest the apex court’s order.

The association’s treasurer, TJ Maharwade said that even the highways passing through the cities have not been excluded. This means that 6,000 of the 10,000 licensed outlets would either have to shut down or relocate.

A letter was written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by the association members, requesting him to take up the matter with the Centre.

Meharwade said that not only the owners of the outlets were affected but also workers and those indirectly connected to the business including the suppliers and those working in the transport industry. 

“The Excise Department has projected a revenue of Rs.18,050 crore from liquor this year, but if 60 per cent of the outlets are shut down, how will it achieve this target?” he added.

Chethan Kumar reports for The Times of India that nearly 70% of licenses will be impacted in the state. This included retail outlets, hotels, bars and restaurants.

The report states that Karnataka has 146 state highways, and 13 national highways pass through.

The dealers have proposed the denotification of state highways, which they feel will reduce the impact of the ban. They want state highways to be denotified as district highways, as is being done in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, reports The Hindu.

Honnagiri Gowda, general secretary of Karnataka Wine Merchants' Association told TOI that Karnataka has 10,051 active licences, of which 8,000 are retail outlets, bars and restaurants, and hotels. If the SC order was to be implemented, 70% of the licenses in the state and 60% of the licenses in Bengaluru would cease to exist, he added.


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