Home India Calling States Gujarat government lifts ban on liquor in GIFT City

Gujarat government lifts ban on liquor in GIFT City

Gujarat GIFT City
Gujarat GIFT City

In an attempt to provide “global business ecosystem” at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), the Gujarat government on Friday lifted the ban on liquor in the area, exempting it from prohibition which is in place across the state.

Being the state in which Mahatma Gandhi was born, the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have been banned in Gujarat since its formation.

Such exemption had never been granted in any area of the state in the past.

“GIFT City has emerged as a global financial and technological hub which is bustling with economic activities. An important decision has been taken on Friday to change rules to allow `wine and dine’ facilities in the GIFT City area to provide a global business ecosystem to global investors, technical experts and national and international companies,” the state prohibition department said in a statement.

“Under the new system, hotels, restaurants and clubs (existing and that will come up) in the GIFT City area will be given permits for wine and dine facilities,” it said.

However, such establishments will not be allowed to sell liquor bottles to people.

“Those officially working in GIFT City area and their official guests will be able to go to such hotels, restaurants and clubs for wine and dine facilities,” the statement further said.

Liquor access permits will be given to owners and employees of companies in the GIFT City and temporary permits will be given to their visitors who can go to such hotels and restaurants to consume alcohol.

The state prohibition and excise department will regulate the import, storage and sale of liquor in the city.

At present, outsiders visiting Gujarat can buy liquor from authorised outlets by obtaining a temporary permit.

The opposition Congress, meanwhile, opposed the decision.

“Look at the situation of women in the states where liquor is freely available. Families are getting destroyed. Liquor not only damages health but it also disturbs social fabric. There is no proof that development can be achieved due to liquor. If that was true, then the states which do not have prohibition would be at the top of development charts,” Congress leader Manish Doshi said.

By legalising the sale and consumption of liquor “in Gujarat of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel” the BJP government was exhibiting its double standards, and it does not want to implement prohibition properly, said another Congress leader Hiren Banker.

The DREAM city in Surat which houses recently inaugurated diamond bourse has also demanded exemption from prohibition.

In the past, former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela had demanded that the ban on liquor be lifted in the state.

Source: PTI