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Ex MP Mevani writes letter to CM Rupani to open liquor shops in Gujarat


(G.N.S) Dt. 11


A former Member of Parliament in Rajkot Ramji Mevani has written a letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to open liquor shops in the state. Now, an online petition started by the youth has urged Rupani to amend the prohibition of alcohol policy “which makes criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens”.
The petition is signed by a whopping 62,881 people till Saturday night. The petition demands that every adult 21 years old and above should be allowed to purchase alcohol from existing liquor shops that sell alcohol to only permit holders. “Consumption of alcohol in private be decriminalised. We seek the government’s permission to open bars, pubs, discos etc. Upgrade and modernise the police force,” the petition writes. The petition also demands that the Gujarat government should make stringent laws to enforce alcohol-related misbehaviour or disturbances which are non-valuable. “Make rehabilitation centres in all districts, add special taxes to directly benefit farmers, poor rehabilitation centres on alcohol consumed in restaurants/pubs/bars/discos. Adulterated-chemically laced alcohol sold by bootleggers is causing a health epidemic, it is time to address it,” states the online petition started by one on “wetGujarat2021.com”
By presenting an argument of their own, the petitioner said Gujarat may turn this opportunity to use income through sale of liquor to pay its debt and ease tax burden on its citizens.
“The debt of Gujarat State is touching approximately Rs 3,00,000 crores and its time the fiscal issues are addressed. The idea is to let revenues to the maximum to the State, in turn reducing the tax burden on citizens. The State’s high dependency on polluting industries is causing a health hazard and that too can be addressed by reducing the reliance on the same,” the petition argues. Petitioners want Gujarat to allow entertainment-related businesses just like any other state to thrive unhindered.
It was in 2018 that the state government had introduced stricter prohibition law and earmarked up to 10 years in jail for manufacture, purchase, sale and transportation of liquor. It was implemented after the Gujarat Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was cleared by the state assembly in February 2017. According to the prohibition law, a person is liable to prosecution in case of being found having liquor even in a house or at private places.
Over the period of time, many citizens have also raised the similar demand of lifting prohibition in Gujarat. One such organisation is Vadodara-based Sampark. Rajiv Patel, a Vadodara based designer who has been fighting against the liquor ban in Gujarat said, “This policy is keeping Gujarat behind all the states and countries in the world.”
“Where the world is going, having a policy completely discriminates Gujarati from doing what other countries do as a normal activity. It is outrageous. In another 17 months, the state government of Gujarat will be convinced to make amends in the prohibition laws,” he said. Patel said he doesn’t consume alcohol nor serves but this ban on alcohol is only benefiting corrupt politicians and policemen who make mullah out of this.
“Alcohol is available in Gujarat, duplicate products are available at an expensive rate. As per reports, one bottle of alcohol is confiscated every minute. One can imagine alcohol demand in Gujarat based on this. By not amending the law, the Gujarat Government is not only making a loss in income but forcing people to secretly consume it,” he added.

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