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  • Liquor licence norms for Karnataka hotels set to change as MLAs flag irregularities | Bangalore News

Liquor licence norms for Karnataka hotels set to change as MLAs flag irregularities | Bangalore News

The Karnataka Government will notify fresh guidelines to issue CL-7 liquor licences after Congress MLAs in the state alleged massive irregularities in the process.

CL-7 licence refers to the liquor licence issued to hotels and boarding homes. During Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly, Congress MLA S N Narayanaswamy sought details from the Excise Department regarding the number of CL-7 licences issued in Kolar district and the guidelines for such licences.

Narayanaswamy alleged that rules were being flouted to issue CL-7 licences and cited the example of a hotel in Kolar. He also accused Kolar excise department official Rangappa of issuing such licences with little regard to rules, and contended that the official was a partner in several businesses which required a CL-7 licence.

Another Congress MLA K M Shivalinge Gowda claimed CL-7 licences have become a big ‘racket’ in the state. “Failing to curtail this would bring a bad name to the state government,” he said. Several other MLAs, both from the ru‌ling Congress and the BJP, highlighted that norms in this regard were being violated and demanded a probe.

As debate raged over the issue, a section of Congress legislators pointed fingers at the erstwhile BJP government for proliferating the racket. This was denied by BJP MLA and former excise minister K Gopalaiah who demanded that the government suspend such licences. Leader of the Opposition R Ashok said that the CL-7 licences issued should be cancelled if they violated norms, irrespective of who issued them.

Festive offer

Excise Minister R B Thimmapur, reacting to the discussion, said fresh guidelines will be issued to grant CL-7 licences in future, adding that existing norms did not specify the design for rooms and lodges in establishments operating under the licence.

Meanwhile, Malavalli MLA P M Narendraswamy demanded that the government introduce reservations while granting excise licences. Thimmapur said existing laws require an amendment for the same, while noting that a very small portion of excise licence holders were from SC/ST communities.

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