Among the most concurrent suggestions during the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (RPBD) on Friday was the request for issuing liquor permits in London for those who travel to the ‘dry’ state of Gujarat. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj promised to look into every suggestion made at the event.
A direct London-Ahmedabad flight is also one of the demands. The liquor permit issue has rankled several Gujaratis who often travel to India, but end up queuing up at Indian airports after a long flight for the liquor permit. The permit is mandatory to carry, purchase and consume alcohol in the state.
Mahendrasinh C Jadeja, secretary-general of the National Congress of Gujarati Organisations — UK, told HT that the liquor permits used to be issued by the Indian high commission here, but the facility had been withdrawn about two years ago.
Jadeja said: “The high commission has stopped offering this service and one is required to join a big, long queue on arrival at an Indian airport after going through other formalities.”
If the destination of visiting Gujaratis is villages or towns beyond major centres such as Ahmedabad and Rajkot, they need to travel to the state capital to acquire the permits, he added.