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Stringent Guidelines For Liquor In GIFT City

| Updated: December 27, 2023 14:17

Amid all the brouhaha surrounding the lifting of liquor prohibition in Gandhinagar’s GIFT City, the Gujarat prohibition department has rolled out a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) detailing the relaxation and the riders that accompany the leeway.

A crucial aspect of the SOP is that permits valid elsewhere in the state are not applicable within GIFT City. This includes health permits and both temporary and permanent permits from outside GIFT City. The policy enforces the idea that GIFT City operates under its own set of rules regarding liquor consumption.

Only visitors recommended by company officials and accompanied by an employee with a liquor permit can access alcohol here. This rule ensures that alcohol consumption remains a closely monitored activity within the city.

Thus visitors and tourists won’t have access to liquor unless recommended by company officials, and any violations of this rule will invoke the Prohibition Act. On the flip side, clubs and restaurants within GIFT City can now obtain licences to serve alcohol.

For permanent employees, the path to liquor involves QR codes. Employees can also purchase liquor under an HR letterhead, provided they have the necessary permits and documentation.

Also alcohol consumption is confined only to GIFT-authorised areas. Entry to FL-3 licence areas would be allowed after checking the permit(s) at the entry point(s). Sales of liquor are limited to state government-approved locations. Additionally, FL-3 licence holders must maintain meticulous records of liquor sales and purchases within GIFT City.

FL-3 license is only for hotel, club, restaurant that seek to cater liquor to those doing job in GIFT City or authorised visitors. Such hotel, club, restaurant can get FL-3 license after producing required documentary evidences before the Director of Nashabandhi department after required checks by the committee formed by the State government.

In a first for the state government, the entire area of GIFT City will be under CCTV surveillance, ensuring compliance with these new rules. This is part of the government’s broader effort to relax prohibition rules within GIFT City’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ), balancing liberalisation with regulation.

Also person will not be allowed to drive after consuming liquor. Liquor access permits and temporary permits will be issued only to persons above 21 years of age.

“Only sections of the Gujarat Prohibition Act have been relaxed with a view to support the lifestyle of the young population working at the fintech hub, by offering wine and dine services. There is a defined procedure by which permanent and temporary liquor access permits will be issued to permanent employees of companies located in GIFT City, officials said.

Any violation of the rules would invite penalties as prescribed under the Gujarat Prohibition Act and the Motor Vehicles Act, they added.

“In the draft proposition, even the issuer of the permit (the HR or other representative of a company), may be held liable in case of violations by permit holders,” said a source in the state government.

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