Punjab assembly amends law to keep highway tipplers in high spirits
The Punjab assembly on Friday amended an excise law to allow hotels, restaurants and clubs within 500 metres of national and state highways in the northern state to serve liquor.
The amendment to Section 26-A of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, comes in the wake of a Supreme Court decision on December 15 last year to ban liquor vends and serving of liquor in hotels and restaurants within 500 metres on either side of state and national highways from April 1.
The amendment to the excise law, which deals with fixing the location of liquor vends on national and state highways, will lift the restrictions placed on hotels, restaurants, and clubs from serving liquor within 500 metres of highways.
The Punjab Council of Ministers had, on June 19, approved the proposal to amend the Act. The amendment Bill was introduced in the house on Friday.
"By amending Section 26-A of the Punjab Excise Act, all ambiguities on serving of liquor at hotels, restaurants and clubs will be removed by adding provisions wherein it has been made clear that though no retail liquor vends will come up within 500 metres of highways, these restrictions will not apply to hotels, restaurants, and clubs situated within the state limits," a Punjab government spokesman said earlier.