Liquor
Representative image.

Assam government has finally decided to open wine shops across the state on Monday.

The IMFL off/CS off shops, wholesale warehouse, bottling plants, distilleries and breweries will be opened in Assam with effect from April 13, an order issued by the Excise Department, said.

According to the notice, IMFL off/CS off shop shall remain open from 10 am to 5 pm on the permitted days.

The notice, issued by S.K. Medhi, the additional commissioner of Excise (in-charge), Assam, has been sent to all the district commissioners of the state.

Senior Excise officials told Northeast Now on Sunday evening that the decision has been taken to open wine shops in view of the demand of the people caught in the lockdown.

The notice said: “State government has approved the opening of IMFL off/CS off shops, wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, distilleries and Breweries w.e.f. 13/04/2020 on the permitted days”, subject to compliance of some guidelines.

“The licensee of IMFL “OFF”/CS “OFF” shops, wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, distilleries and breweries shall be personally responsible for deploying their staff to ensure maintaining social distancing of at least 1(one) meter between customers, staff, cough etiquette and to strictly follow all directives issued by National Health Mission, Assam with reference to COVID-19 situation,” it said.

As per the order, the IMFL off/CS off shops may work with bare minimum staff and provide hand sanitizers to customers and staff while handling the bottles and cash.

“To strictly avoid overcrowding, staff of a particular IMFL “OFF”/CS “OFF” shop may direct the customers to other nearby shops,” the notice said.

The wholesale warehouses, distilleries, breweries, bottling plants shall work with bare minimum staff but not more than 50% (fifty percent) of their regular staff and workers, the notice said.

The IMFL off/CS off shops will have to extend full cooperation to the district administration, excise and the police, it added.

The Superintendent of Excise has been asked to deploy Excise officials to monitor the compliance of directives issued by National Health Mission, Assam with reference to COVID-19 situation.

“The wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, breweries, distilleries must arrange to keep their staff and workers within their campus and shall arrange food and other amenities for them,” it added.

If such an arrangement is not possible arrangement must be made to keep such workers and staff at a designated place nearest to the factory premises.

Transportation facility will have to be extended to the staff and workers from the designated place to the factory by observing all the COVID-19 guidelines.

For transport of liquor consignment, vehicle passes shall be obtained from the respective deputy commissioner of the district.

“Any violation of the guidelines issued in regard to COVID-19 will invite cancellation of the Excise license,” the notice further said.

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