Shifting liquor shops does not hit excise policy: SC

"I need to talk with some of the ministerial colleagues and see what is coming out of it", Sitharaman told reporters here.

In Maharashtra, the liquor ban on highways has affected at least 1,000 star hotels, the Indian Hotel And Restaurant Association (AHAR) president Adarsh Shetty said.

Meanwhile, Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Monday (April 3) that the Centre is trying to find a solution to the large-scale losses the industry would incur. It also held that areas with a population up to 20,000 may have liquor vends at a distance of 220 metres from the highways.

Sources in the state Excise Department have also said that an exercise was on to identify the 1,000 odd outlets which fall beyond 220 metres from national highways.

The Supreme Court earlier on Thursday reserved its order on banning off liquor vends on state and national highways. Sidhu said that the city administration did not take up the issue seriously when notice was first issued on his petition in 2006.

When asked about the proposed rubber policy, she expressed hope to announce it soon.

As many as 207 of the 850 retail liquor outlets owned by the state government downed shutters since April 1 in compliance with the Supreme Court directive of December 2016.

Pernod Ricard, in its last investor call, had noted that the demonetisation in November was expected to impact the company till March 2017, and that the Supreme Court ban on highway liquor stores and the progress on GST implementation will also impact sales till June.

According to an industry body estimate, the collective revenue loss from the ban could amount up to Rs 50,000 crore.

Besides, the top court exempted Sikkim and Meghalaya from the ban order altogether. Licences would remain valid till end of September for Telangana and end of June for Andhra Pradesh.

However, the ruling was challenged by several associations across states seeking modification of the judgment.

Many states are considering denotifying state highways within cities and towns and turning them into urban roads. In the national capital Delhi, about 100 bars and hotels along the highway have been closed located.

Preliminary estimates show almost 10,000 people are employed in 1,800 such outlets off highways in West Bengal alone; they are expected to lose their jobs.

  • Leroy Wright