Panaji, March 16 (IANS) There is reason for tipplers to be merry in Goa, as liquor stores in coastal areas will now be allowed to remain open for an hour more till 10 p.m. on payment of additional fees.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, in his budget speech on Wednesday, however, warned against drinking in public in Goa, and also promised to ban drinking of alcohol in areas, which will be notified by the government soon.
“I have received many representations from retail vendors who sell liquor in packed bottles, that their crucial business timings are in late hours of the day, beyond the prescribed timing of 9 p.m. This is due to the fact that most tourists prefer to make such purchases during late hours.
“Having considered this request, I propose to grant permission for one hour beyond the prescribed timings on payment of a surcharge of 50 percent of the licence fees,” Parsekar said.
Three years back, sale of alcohol in retail stores was banned after 9 p.m., after restaurateurs complained that sale of liquor from retail stores in late hours affected their business and resulted in drunken hooliganism along the coastline after dark.
The chief minister, however, warned against drinking alcohol in public places.
He informed the assembly that the excise department was “receiving numerous complaints regarding consumption of liquor in open spaces and public places, causing nuisance by littering bottles and cans and disturbing peace”.
“I propose to notify such open spaces and public places where consumption of liquor will not be allowed and empower the Commissioner and such other authorities to enforce the ban. The Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964 shall be suitably amended for this purpose,” he said.