To re-issue liquor permit, Gujarat makes ‘rehab’ a must

AHMEDABAD: Having tightened liquor laws in 2016, the Gujarat state government is now readying to play a strict parent. After suspending issuance and renewal of about 42,000 liquor permits allowed on health grounds in March this year, the prohibition department is set to recommend de-addiction in the fresh guidelines likely to be announced in the next few weeks.

As per the new rules, applicants seeking third renewal will have to undergo a 15 day long treatment to quit drinking.

“The move is aimed at deterring people from seeking permit on false health grounds. Permit will be renewed only if a de-addiction centre certifies that the applicant cannot do without alcohol,” said a senior prohibition officer.

A five-fold hike in the permit fee — from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 — has also been proposed. The last fee hike was effected in 1999 when the charges were raised from a Rs 100 to Rs 1,000.

As per the existing laws, district civil surgeon is the sole authority to issue medical…

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