Gurugram: Liquor shop owners protest curtailed business hours

Liquor shop owners in the city on Tuesday protested outside the excise office in Sector 34, demanding that they should be allowed to keep their shops open till 11pm instead of 5pm under the current Covid-19 guidelines
Liquor traders protest outside the excise office against the fresh Covid guidelines directing closure of wine shops by 5pm, at Sector 34 in Gurugram on Tuesday. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Liquor traders protest outside the excise office against the fresh Covid guidelines directing closure of wine shops by 5pm, at Sector 34 in Gurugram on Tuesday. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 05, 2022 12:55 AM IST
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Liquor shop owners in the city on Tuesday protested outside the excise office in Sector 34, demanding that they should be allowed to keep their shops open till 11pm instead of 5pm under the current Covid-19 guidelines.

The Haryana government on January 1 announced several restrictions in five districts, including Gurugram and Faridabad, where liquor shops were asked to operate between 9am and 5pm, while bars, pubs and restaurants were asked to operate with 50% seating capacity.

The members of the Allied Liquor Association met the deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) and handed over a memorandum requesting change of timings and to waive off the liquor licence fees.

Subhash Bansal, general manager of Discovery Wines and a member of the association, said that 80% of liquor sales is achieved from 6pm to 11pm. “Due to the present timings, we will have to incur a heavy loss. Besides, we will find it difficult to submit the license fees which are paid in advance,” he said.

Sujan Singh, another member, said, “It was illogical to give permission to bars/restaurants to open till 11pm and put restrictions only on us.”

The protesters said that the government should also waive off their licence fees and just charge them 10% with the restrictions.

Rohit Yadav, a shop owner, said that the liquor shops are the highest revenue generators for the state. “The new restrictions will lead to smuggling of liquor, and people involved in illegal trade of liquor will flourish. We are ready to follow all Covid-19 protocols, but please don’t ruin our business,” he said.

There are 280 liquor shops across the city, most of which are situated on MG Road, Golf Course Road, Sohna Road and Golf Course Extension Road, according to an official data.

Anirudh Sharma, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (west), said the department agreed that the timings should change and forwarded their memorandum to the headquarters in Panchkula. “People usually visit liquor shops post 6pm. The timings of these establishments should be considered till 11pm. Since liquor shops in Delhi are open till 8pm, people will buy from the national capital leading to the loss for Gurugram shops,” he said.

Haryana deputy chief minister, Dushyant Chautala, who also holds the portfolio of excise and taxation, said, “We have received their representation and are trying to help them in every possible way.”

Chautala further said that the liquor shop owners should appeal before the deputy commissioner also who will send recommendations to the government.

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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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Wednesday, June 29, 2022