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Liquor permits on health ground in Gujarat increases to 58%

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AHMEDABAD, Dec 28: The number of people holding liquor permits on health ground in Gujarat has gone up by 58 per cent in three years, as per figures of the state prohibition and excise department.

As against 27,452 liquor permit holders in November 2020, Gujarat now has 43,470 permit holders, according to the data.

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Being the state in which Mahatma Gandhi was born, the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have been banned in Gujarat since its formation.

The state’s population is estimated to be around 6.7 crore.

A senior official from the prohibition department said apart from the people who have been given permits on health ground, foreign nationals and people from other states are given the permit for a maximum period of one week during their visit to Gujarat.

The data revealed that Ahmedabad district was on top of the list with 13,456 liquor permits, followed by Surat (9,238), Rajkot (4,502), Vadodara (2,743), Jamnagar (2,039), Gandhinagar (1,851) and Porbandar (1,700).

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As per another data, 77 hotels in Gujarat have been given license to sell liquor to the permit holders as well as those coming to the state from other parts of the country or abroad.

Liquor permits are issued to individuals by the department only after the area medical board issues a certificate declaring that consumption of liquor is necessary for the applicant’s health.

Last week, in an attempt to provide “global business ecosystem” at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), the state government lifted the ban on liquor in the area, exempting it from prohibition.

The prohibition department had in a statement said under the new system, hotels, restaurants and clubs (existing and that will come up) in the GIFT City area will be given permits for wine and dine facilities. However, such establishments will not be allowed to sell liquor bottles to people. (PTI)

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