Almost after a gap of two months when the government has e-auctioned wine shops, the liquor bars across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have been briefly closed as the Excise Department has sought renewal of licenses and ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the more than 20 department to be obtained by the owners/operators.
Nearly 250 liquor bars including in private hotels, clubs owned, government run, are functional across the Union territory. “The Excise Department has asked the respective Deputy Commissioners (District Magistrates) to initiate the process asking the bar operators to suspend the operation and get the license renewed after getting the NOCs from around 21 departments,” official sources said.
However, the office of the District Magistrate Jammu in a correspondence to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, as per the letter received from the Deputy Excise Commissioner (Executive Jammu), signed by the Additional District Magistrate Jammu, Rakesh Dubey, has asked for the opinion/comments in light of Sub Rule 4 of Rule 40 J8 Liquor License and Sale Rules, 1984 by of before stipulated time.
“We have received a letter from the Excise Department seeking opinion on renewal of Liquor Bar Licenses following which this office has written to SSP Jammu,” Mr Dubey said.
He said that before renewal of the license by the excise department, the police agency will submit a report to the administration about the credentials of the owner/operator, status of land on which the bar is constructed by the revenue department and other clearances from the Jammu Municipal Corporation.
“The final report of each and every bar operator will be handed over to the Excise Department by the office of the District Magistrate for further action,” said Mr Dubey.
As per reports, the operators have to seek NOC documents from at least 21 Departments to get the license renewed.
Former President, Jammu Wine Traders Association, Charanjeet Singh said, “as of now nothing in black and white has been issued but only verbal terms are dictated.”
“Already due to e-auctioning of wine shops earlier, the Jammu traders have been the worst hit and this step will further affect the economy,” he said, adding that they are making best efforts to reach the government representatives for deliberations.