Drinking age reduced to 21 in Haryana, pubs and bars welcome move

Published on Dec 23, 2021 12:39 AM IST

The state assembly passed an amendment to the Haryana Excise Act on Wednesday. With Delhi and Haryana both reducing the drinking age to 21, it stays 25 only in Punjab, Chandigarh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Nearly 60% of the 28 states and eight Union territories in India allow the sale of liquor to those above 21 years old. (Shutterstock)
Nearly 60% of the 28 states and eight Union territories in India allow the sale of liquor to those above 21 years old. (Shutterstock)

Gurugram: The Haryana government on Wednesday reduced the drinking age in the state from 25 year to 21 years, with the state assembly passing an amendment to the Haryana Excise Act.

According to the statement of objects and reasons stated in the amendment Bill, during the framing of excise policy for 2021-22 it was discussed that the age limit may be reduced from 25 years to 21 as many of other states have prescribed lower age limits. The Delhi government announced lowering the drinking age in the national Capital from 25 to 21 years.

“Moreover, the socio-economic conditions of the day have changed drastically from the time when the provisions were incorporated in the Excise Act. People now are more educated and participating in new endeavours and also can take rational decisions when it comes to responsible drinking. Accordingly, The Haryana Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has been passed to reduce the minimum age limit of 25 years as provided in Sections 27, 29, 30 and 62 of the Haryana Excise Act, 1914 to 21 years,” said the amendment Bill.

V K Beniwal, deputy commissioner of excise and taxation , Gurugram (east), called it a “good move”. “This is a good move as Delhi has already reduced the age and it was impacting business in Gurugram. We were strictly imposing the rules pertaining to the drinking age, and have penalised several pubs and bars for serving to underage patrons. This move will benefit the licence holders and also the people in the age bracket as they can now drink legally,” he said..

Pubs and bars in Gurugram also cheered the decision.

Rahul Singh, trustee, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) , said they thank the Haryana government for the “significant change” to the legal drinking age that was prescribed “during the British Raj in 1914”.

“This will reduce illegal consumption and also places the state at par with International norms as well as neighbouring states,” he said.

Ashish Dev Kapoor, founder, Whisky Samba bar and grill, said it was a progressive move by the Haryana government. “If people are allowed to get married at 21, cast their vote, why can’t they allowed to drink legally. This will help in ensuring that people can drink in a transparent and responsible manner,” he said.

Lalit Ahlawat, Director, Soi7 Pub and Brewery at DLF Cyber City, said 21 is the right age to be fixed for drinking. “Though all the pub and bars were following the rules and regulations, but this amendment will help the youngsters enjoy legally,” he said.

Nearly 60% of the 28 states and eight Union territories in India allow the sale of liquor to those above 21 years old. With Delhi and Haryana both reducing the drinking age to 21 -- it stays 25 only in Punjab, Chandigarh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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