**Bhubaneswar:** Following protests from different sections over extending liquor sale timings in Odisha in view of the Hockey World Cup, the State Government decided to amend the rule today and ascertained that only hotels and bars would be allowed to serve liquor till 1.30 am and not the ‘ON’ shops.
Odisha Excise Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera clarified today, “Only hotels and bars in Bhubaneswar will be allowed to serve liquor till 1.30 am. The decision to keep ‘ON’ shops open till 1:30 am was unintentional and now will not remain open till the said time. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the international players, guests and officials who will be staying in Bhubaneswar for the duration of Hockey World Cup. This interim arrangement has been made only for a month.”
On November 22, the State Government had extended the hours for sale and purchase of liquor in the host city by amending the Odisha Excise Rules, 2017.
As per a notification released by the Excise Department, these rules may be called the Odisha Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2018. In the said rules, the following proviso has been inserted after the first proviso in rule 164:-
“Provided further that the State Government on the occasion of a national or international level mega event may, by notification, extend the selling hour until 1:30 a.m. in respect of any of the places mentioned in clause (d) of the first proviso without insisting on payment of any additional fee or consideration money leviable under these rules.”
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