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Punjab hotels to serve liquor near highways soon; state govt to amend law

The amendment will lift restrictions on hotels from serving liquor within 500 meters of highways

IANS  |  Chandigarh 

Liquor ban

The on Monday gave its nod to a proposal to amend Section 26-A of the Excise Act, 1914, for fixing the location of vends on and state highways.

The amendment, once passed, would lift restrictions on hotels, restaurants and clubs from serving within 500 meters of highways, a state spokesman said here after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

"By amending Section 26-A of Excise Act, 1914, all ambiguities for serving of at hotels, restaurants and clubs would be removed by adding provisions whereby it is cleared that no retail vend would be opened within 500 metres of the and State Highways, but these restrictions shall not apply to hotels, restaurants and clubs situated on the and State Highways.

"The CoM (Council of Ministers) gave a go-ahead to the draft amendment Bill, 2017, in this regard, to be tabled during the current budget session for enactment," the spokesman, quoting the decision of the Council, said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh chaired the meeting.

The Council of Ministers also gave its formal approval to the budgetary proposals to be presented by state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday.

The Council also approved the setting up of a dedicated university to promote crop diversification in the state, to help in bringing changes in cropping patterns to include the planting of vegetables, fruits, herbs, aromatic and medicinal herbs, fibre and tuber crops, sericulture, fodder crops and floriculture, the spokesman said.

At present, the total area under fruit plants and vegetables is approximately three lakh hectares in Punjab, constituting only approximately four per cent of the total land in agrarian Punjab and a fraction of the country's total area.

"Green Revolution" state Punjab contributes nearly 50 per cent of food grains (wheat and paddy) to the national kitty.

First Published: Tue, June 20 2017. 10:10 IST