Sunday, July 5, 2009

Liquor Bars in Goa to be stripped of religious names

So your favourite bar in Goa with a holy name, may not be the same again. Atleast in name. Although Feni by any other name is bound to taste as heady as ever, the bars in Goa which bear a religious name may have to change it as per the amended excise rules banning liquor bars with religious names. The rule which comes into force immediately was effected by a notification to that effect which was issued on June 26 2009. While the new rules immediately effect those who have applied for new licenses and renewals, the existing bars with hallowed names will have to await a policy decision by the government on their name-fate.

Goa abounds in liquor bars all over the state and is home to around 6,500 licensed liquor bars which are often tagged with names of gods, goddesses anBar in Goa with a religious named saints. So it is very common to see a "St Anthony's bar" or a "Durga bar" or Vailankanni's  bar to a bar named after Goddess Laxmi.

The government of Goa has added sub-rule 11 to rule 90 of the Goa excise duty rules, through which the finance department says " No license having a license for retail sale of India made foreign liquor and country liquor and/or foreign liquor for consumption on premises shall carry out the business in the name and style which denotes a religious name"

The above rule is in compliance to a private member's resolution passed in the assembly by opposition leader Manohar Parrikar in 2008. the government is planning to enforce the rule in totality for new licenses as well as renewal of licenses. however it may face a lot of opposition to existing bars which may have developed a lot of goodwill and brand image under a particular name associated with it and the government may have to consider their sentiments.

Commenting on the move, the opposition leader Mr Manohar Parrikar remarked that "God's  name is to be used for good things and giving God's name to a bar can hurt the sentiments of the people "which he said is not allowed anywhere in the country and added that chance of unholy things happening in bars with holy names is a high probability.

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