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Karnataka permits bars, restaurants to clear liquor stock


Bengaluru, May 08: The Karnataka government on Friday allowed clubs, bars and restaurants to sell liquor as takeaway at the maximum retail price till May 17 to clear their existing stock that has accumulated during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Similar permissions have been given to Metro Cash and Carry to sell liquor till May 17.

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Also, wine boutiques can sell their stock, but there is no last date set for them. According to an order from the state Excise department, the permission is applicable to standalone CL-4 (clubs), CL-7 (hotels and lodges) and CL-9 (bar) licence- holders, only till their stocks last; also takeaway of food has been permitted.

Conditions that have been laid down by the government include only sale of sealed bottles, maintaining social distancing during the sale and wearing of masks. Transporting liquor stocks to CL-2 (MRP) outlets is allowed, the order said adding that permission is not applicable to outlets in containment zones.

The order also clarifies that procurement of fresh liquor stocks from the Karnataka State Beverage Corporation Ltd (KSBCL) depots by clubs, bars and restaurants during the period is not allowed.

The permission for the sale between 9 am and 7 pm was given following petitions by certain associations of bars and hotels raising concerns that their stock would have to be destroyed if drinks such as beer which has a shelf life of six months are not sold.

In a separate order, the department allowed Metro Cash and Carry to sell liquor till May 17, with similar conditions of timing, social distancing, wearing of masks among others. They too can't operate in containment zones announced by the government.

A similar order has been issued permitting standalone wine boutiques to sell wines, with similar conditions, but no last date has been set.

The government had earlier allowed CL-2 (retail shops) and CL-11C (state-run retail shops such as MSIL) to sell liquor between 9 am and 7 pm only in areas that are outside COVID-19 containment zones from May 4.

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