• Punjab allows sale of liquor near highways by amending Excise Act

    June 24, 2017

    Punjab becomes the first state to amend the Excise Act and allows the sale of liquor near highways by enabling hotels, restaurants, and clubs to serve alcohol within 500 meters of highways.

    The Punjab Excise Amendment Bill (2017) was tabled by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohinder and was passed by Assembly during the budget session.

    The government notified the names of the hotels, restaurants, and clubs that will be allowed to serve alcohol to customers only within their premises to secure the livelihood of a large segment of people.

    Sale of liquor for takeaway purposes will be permitted only through licensed vendors which shall not be located within 500 meters from the outer range of National or State Highway.

    Last year the Apex Court banned States and Union Territories from granting licences for sale of liquor along with national and state highways across the country because drunken driving was the main cause of major road accidents.   

    Punjab becomes the first state to take the amendment route to make the way for sale of liquor on highways. The route taken by the state government is critical as it can set a precedent for other states who have been looking for a way around the Supreme Court ruling banning the sale of liquor on highways.

    This amendment comes as a big relief to the liquor-selling industry who has been hit hard by the Supreme Court ruling to an extent that the smaller participants were completely wiped out of the market.

    The new policy has no affect on Chandigarh as the amendment is only for the state and is not applicable to union territory

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