The Government of Punjab approves the maintenance of electronic registers under several labour laws

The notification aims at simplifying and rationalizing existing rules and introducing information technology to promote efficiency and effectiveness in governance. This notification covers 25 labour laws and was issued in consonance with the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Business Action Plan (BRAP) 2020 of the Department of Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

The Government of NCT of Delhi orders the maintenance of status quo for on-premises consumption of liquor in bars in hotels or clubs or restaurants

The Order applies to various categories of liquor licences. The stipulated status quo must be maintained till 31st October 2020 or till further orders are issued. This Order also mandates for strict compliance with the conditions mentioned in the Order dated 4th September 2020. Pertinently, the Order dated 4th September 2020, inter alia, states that there shall be no opening of bars or serving of liquor in hotels or clubs or restaurants in containment zones. It also calls for strict compliance with SOPSs issued by DDMA and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Further, the Order stipulates for legal action in case of failure to comply with the prescribed SOPs.

The Government of Karnataka notifies the Karnataka Excise (General Conditions of Licences) Amendment Rules, 2020.

The Deputy Commissioner of Excise is now empowered to shift the location of certain specified retail shops. These specified retail shops refer to retail shops issued to the Government Companies. In the case of the 463 retail shops issued to Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) on 3rd July 2009, the shift may be from the limits of one Grama Panchayat to the limits of another Grama Panchayat, within the district. On the other hand, in the case of the 900 retail shops issued to MSIL on 23rd September 2016, the shift may be from the limits of one Grama Panchayat to the limits of another Grama Panchayat, within the same Legislative Assembly constituency.

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has released a new Excise Policy for the remainder of 2020-2021

The policy stipulates that in order to encourage the transition from high alcohol content beverages to low alcohol content beverages, licences will be issued to bars with Micro Brewery at locations permitted by the Excise Commissioner. Pertinently, the new excise policy has also withdrawn the additional 50 per cent excise duty on liquor (which was levied in May), commonly known as corona tax. Furthermore, to put an end to the bootlegging, illegal distillation of liquor and to promote the availability of safe drinks, new licences will be granted for the sale of liquor off the premises of wine shops. Moreover, in these cases, the Excise Department will reserve a fixed number of licences/ licenced zones for Ex-Servicemen, Specially Abled, SC/ST/OBC and economically weaker sections. The policy also states that liquor shall not be sold in plastic bottles and must be sold in glass/ PET bottles/ tin cans only. Additonally, the policy imposes a ban on the import of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brands having MRP up to Rs. 600 per bottle into J&K.

The Government of Haryana notifies the Haryana Liquor License (Second Amendment) Rules, 2020

The Amendment prescribes that a licensed retail liquor outlet must not be established at a distance of less than 150 meters from the main gate of a recognized school/college/main bus stand and a place of worship. Prior to this amendment, a retail liquor outlet could not be established within a distance less than 100 meters in rural areas and 50 meters in urban areas from the main gate of a recognized school/college/main bus stand and a place of worship. Furthermore, the Amendment has revised the manner in which deposits of security amount equal to 20% of the annual license fee of the Zone of Vends are distributed and carried out. The amendment has changed the schedule for the lifting of the annual quota on a quarterly basis by specifying the period of each quarter and prescribing the basic quota percentages for each quarter. The amendment does away with the prior schedule. However, the cumulative quota remains unchanged.