Monday, November 29, 1999

No decision on extension of liquor timing in star hotels

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Bangalore, June 18 (PTI) After being snubbed by his ministerial colleagues over the past fortnight over allowing longer business hours for bars and pubs, Karnataka Excise Minister M P Renukacharya today said the issue of extension of the timing for star hotels has been put on hold for now. Addressing media after holding a meeting with Principal Secretaries of Home, Finance, Tourism and Excise departments, the minister said he had asked the officials to submit a report to him on the matter. As of now, no decision has been taken and the matter on five star hotels has been temporarily put on hold, Renukacharya, said after his meeting with representatives of the hotels. The minister, however, evaded a question on the opinions expressed by the various department on the issue during the meeting. He also maintained a tight lip if there had been any adverse opinion expressed on the subject. The minister who had earlier stated that the government was inclined to extend the timing of sale of liquor in bar, pubs and five star hotels, was snubbed about a fortnight ago when Home Minister V S Acharya said there was no such proposal. Renukacharya then went on the defence, saying he had been misunderstood and he had only spoken about five star hotels and not about pubs, bars and restaurants. The issue also witnessed a war of words between him and Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari, who raised apprehensions of law and order problem if revellers extend their night life due to this timing (from 11.30 PM to 2 am). According to official statistics, Andhra Pradesh''s revenue through liquour sale is around Rs 3,250 crore.

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