In this day and age, where everything happens online, it’s no surprise that the excise department is making the change for a more modern system. Although there seemed to be a bit of resistance from the officials of the department, with the deadline for renewal at the end of the month, it looks as though the transition is working wonders with liquor shop owners.
The change to an online system was intended to streamline the liquor licence renewal system and minimise corruption. Now, 2,506 of the city’s 2,536 liquor shop owners have renewed their permits with the deadline still almost two weeks away.
Speaking to ET, Karunakara Hegde, a bar owner, said that renewal time is not the only instance where bar owners come in contact with excise officials. “While the online renewal system has prevented officials from harassing licence seekers to an extent, it is not the end. Shop owners interact with officials at various stages and the harassment will continue when we approach them for other work,” Hegde said.
Amit Ahuja said that he’s renewed his liquor licence thrice with this last time being the easiest one. “It has prevented pub owners from running from pillar to post to submit documents. And, the renewal happened very quickly, within a week’s time of applying,” he said.
However, there were a few glitches, as it seemed that the officials were learning about the process along with the bar owners. Department joint commissioner Rajendra Prasad said, “We had initial glitches in the process but those have been sorted. All applications were processed quickly within the timeframe of one week.”