Panaji: The current ban in Goa on issuing licenses for new liquor retail outlets will continue to be in effect till June end, a senior official said on Monday. "The state government has decided not to issue any new licenses for the retail sale of liquor in the state till June end this year. The applications received for new outlets are not being considered by the department for the time being till the government comes up with guidelines," Commissioner for Excise, Menino D'Souza, said.
Recently, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the state assembly that guidelines would be framed for issuing liquor licenses in the state, considering that there was a spurt in the number of outlets. D'Souza said that annually 300 new applications are received by the department.
Parrikar would hold a meeting with the excise department officials soon about framing the guidelines. D'Souza said that the date for the meeting was yet to be fixed.
The department, however, said that there has been no ban on the new licenses for distributors, who sell liquor in wholesale to the retail outlets. According to the excise department data, total number of 9,336 excise licenses were issued up to March 31, 2013 to wholesale and retail outlets.
Besides 7,078 licenses were issued to those retailers, who allow customers to consume liquor on their premises, while 178 licenses were given to taverns, a concept of bar introduced during Portuguese-era, where customers can purchase and drink liquor, although these joints do not offer a facility to sit there. The state government has already stopped giving licenses for new taverns since 1980, as they do not have facilities like toilet, D'Souza said.