Alcohol Sanitary Permit: Directive Bottle Empty, Guj Government Admits | Ahmedabad News


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Ahmedabad: In the dry state of Gujarat, a liquor license is a coveted document – allowing the local resident holder to obtain it on health grounds to legally purchase units of alcohol from designated license stores. But when an applicant, under the Right to Information Act (RTI), asked which diseases are covered for the health permit, the state replied that there were no guidelines in place. square !
The answer is ironic given that the government of Gujarat issued the 3,690 highest fresh alcohol permits for health reasons in the pandemic year of 2020-2021 and renewed more than 8,000 permits.
The RTI was filed by Paresh Gandhi, a resident of Vadodara in June, initially with the state customs and excise department. However, the department forwarded it to the Department of Health and Family Welfare to respond.
“The state government has not issued any guidelines for health permits,” read the response from the deputy director (medical services) of the state health department on September 16.
Gandhi said he had filed RTI’s application to find out exactly which disease (s) is covered by the state for the issuance of a liquor sanitary license.
“It’s surprising that the state responded that there are no guidelines. If the state is serious about implementing the ban policy, it should have set rules or guidelines regarding the diseases or illnesses required for a health permit, ”Gandhi said, adding that the response lays out the policy of ban poorly implemented in Gujarat.
It should be mentioned that the policy of banning alcoholic beverages has existed since 1949, when the Bombay Prohibition Act came into force. In a hearing questioning Gujarat’s ban policy in the Gujarat High Court, the state government could not find the document mentioning the purpose statement and the reason behind the enactment of the law.
Sunil Kumar, director of the State Department of Prohibitions and Excise, expressed his inability to identify the specific diseases covered by the permit. “We carry out a careful examination before giving the liquor license. But the permit on health issues can only be recommended by the relevant district medical college, ”he said.
A civilian hospital doctor associated with the process said until 2019 the list was long with sleeplessness, migraine, body aches and heart problems, etc. also cited as the reason for applying for the permit.
“But subsequently, the standards became stricter both for new permits and for the renewal of old ones. Currently the ailments include asthma, anxiety, angina pains, chest pain, hypertension and a range of heart problems as well as hyperlipidemia, ”he said, adding that the permit holder must be at least 40 years old.
“Each request is reviewed by both the interdiction service and our staff. Every year, around 300 new applications for a liquor license are received at the hospital, ”said Dr Rakesh Joshi, medical director of the civilian hospital.
Jai Prakash Shivhare, state health commissioner, was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, licensees told TOI that over the years, the process to get the license has become more difficult, but not necessarily efficient. “The results of the application often depend on the whims of military physicians, and it becomes a matter of public perception or choice rather than a valid procedure. Someone can get the permit for heart problems, while in other cases the papers might not be sufficient, ”a Satellite resident said on condition of anonymity.
Under the current system, a permit gives the holder eight cans of beer or a bottle of liquor such as whiskey.

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