Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government has brought bar licences under the service sector, paving way for reopening of a number of restaurants and bars which had shut shop following a Supreme Court order banning sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways.
The decision was taken by the Uttarakhand Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday.
Shifting bar licences from sales to service sector through an amendment in the Uttar Pradesh Excise Act 1910, which has been in force in Uttarakhand ever since its creation, clears the way for resumption of closed down bars along highways in the state as well as opening of new ones.
The decision will give a boost to revenue generation by the excise department, state Urban Development Minister and official spokesman of the state government Madan Kaushik said.
The state government also decided to effect a substantial hike in the penalty amount to be charged from liquor vends for over rating and adulteration increasing it from Rs 5000 to Rs 20,000.
In a respite to industrialists, it was also decided to reduce the VAT on diesel and natural gas for industrial consumption from 20 per cent to five per cent, Kaushik said.
The cabinet also approved a decision not to construct an ISBT at a site in Haldwani where a graveyard was sighted by locals and shift it to a new location which is yet to be identified.