Goa liquor traders object granting wine shop license at Mopa airport

Panaji, Jun 1 (IANS): The Goa Liquor Traders Association has alleged that the state government is in the process to grant a wine shop license to a corporate company from Mumbai at the Manohar international Airport in Mopa, objecting the move.

Addressing reporters after after meeting the Excise Commissioner on Thursday, the Association's president, Dattaprasad Naik said thy came to about the state government's move to publish a notification relaxing norms to allow wine shop at the airport premises.

"There is prohibition in certain areas where permission can't be granted. But now notification is supposed to come stating if the Chief Minister wants then he can grant it. This is a clear attack on Bahujan Samaj and minorities, who have been into this business for the last several years," Naik said.

According to him, there are 3,076 wine shops and 800 bar and restaurants in the coastal state.

He said that as per law, a wine shop license can be granted to a person only when he possesses a certificate of residing in Goa for the past 25 years.

Naik said that with the new notification, the Chief Minister will have power to grant licenses to non-Goans at the Mopa airport on the pretext to boost tourism.

"Will the footfall of tourists increase if there are wine shops at the airport?" he questioned.

He said that by allowing wine shops at Mopa airport, the collective sale of 3076 wine shops of the state will benefit one single person.

"Since last 10 years, excise duty on liquor has been increased. We are in such a situation that the entire North India gets cheaper liquor than Goa. Now we are at mercy of a few south Indian states. North Indian tourists don't buy from us due to the rate difference," Naik said.

He said that a similar case had happened in 2012, wherein one person from Mumbai was given license at Dabolim airport to run a wine shop, which was later cancelled after illegalities were brought to notice of then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

"Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had promised in the last Assembly session to bring down duty on foreign liquor. But so far nothing has happened. Even we are not given appointments with him to discuss the issues," Naik said.

He said that electrical items business, stationery and dry fruits businesses are hijacked by one certain community of another state. "Now they want to enter into the liquor business, make Bahujan Samaj and minorities suffer," he said.

"This is nothing but a cartelization like what happened in the Delhi liquor scam. The deputy Chief Minister of Delhi has been sent behind bars on the same issue, as he tried to benefit certain people. Isn't this, what is happening here,AAthe cartelisation," he questioned.

"We object to giving our business in the hands of one single person. Dona¿t make us suffer," he added.



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Title: Goa liquor traders object granting wine shop license at Mopa airport

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