The Punjab Cabinet on Saturday approved the historic Excise Policy for the year 2017-18, bringing down the number of liquor vends from 6384 to around 5900, and banning operation of all liquor vends within 500 metres from National and State Highways.
A decision to this effect, in line with the pre-poll promise of Captain Amarinder Singh, was taken by the Council of Ministers in its maiden meeting held under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister here at Punjab Bhawan.
Disclosing this here, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said that in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court of India, no liquor vend would be allowed to operate within a distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of National Highways and State Highways.
As per the new Excise policy, the system of wholesale licence L-1A has been abolished. The L-1 licensees would lift their quota directly from the distilleries/ bottling/ plants/ manufacturing companies. The L-1 licence would be granted to a retail licensee (L-2 Licensee) in the concerned district who has secured atleast one group/ zone in a district.
The quota of country liquor has been reduced from 10.10 crore proof litres to 8.70 crore proof litres i.e. by 14%. Similarly, the quota of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) has been reduced from 4.73 crore proof litres to 3.80 crore proof litres i.e. by 20%.