Bringing relief to the hospitality and liquor industry, the Supreme Court has announced that the ban on the sale of alcohol within 500 meters of state and national highways is not applicable within the city limits. The upliftment of the ban will now allow the operation of liquor vendors falling within 500 meters of a highway.
This will also allow the vendors to open shutters and apply for license renewal after everything was brought to a screeching halt by the ban on the outlets, hotels or restaurants selling alcohol within 500 meters of the highway. The ban has not only affected the sales of liquor but also the sale of packaged snacks along the highway. A 10% percent decrease in the sales of these packaged goods was observed after the ban came into effect.
In the order, the Supreme Court has stated that “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in the proximity of highways properly understood, which provides connectivity between cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity.”
The liquor industry had faced serious loss due to the ban can now breathe a sigh of relief. According to said Riyaz Amlani, president of National Restaurant Association of India, after taking two or four weeks to deal with the renewal of the licence, 85% of the bars and restaurants will be in full operation now that the ban is lifted.