File photo
File photo

The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a clarification regarding the press release that was shared early Saturday.

Giving relaxation in the category of Commercial and private establishments, MHA has issued an order to all States/UTs, to allow opening of all shops registered under Shops and Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighbourhood and standalone shops.

Shops in market complexes, except those within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, would be allowed to open. Shops in single & multi-brand malls would not be allowed to open anywhere.

Moreover, it further clarified that sale of liquor and other items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directlive for COVID-19 management.

As specified in the consolidated revised guidelines, these shops will not be permitted to open in areas, whether rural or urban, which are declared as containment zones by respective States/ UTs.

The MHA hasn't changed its stance after it issued a statement on April 15 regarding the sale of tobacco, wine and gutka.

Substances like gutka, tobacco and alcohol have been banned, according to the guidelines.

Several states had already announced that they would not allow the sale of alcohol until April 30, 2020. However, that deadline will extend till May 3.

Assam, Meghalaya and Haryana had, however, allowed the sale of alcohol in the states, but going by the central government's guidelines, it looks like the shops will shut again.

A senior bureaucrat had told FPJ about the extension of alcohol sales, “The matter had come for discussion in the first week of April, but the government has decided not to allow liquor sale as of now to avoid a backlash. It is true that the government has received representations from liquor and alcohol manufacturers and also from the wine shop owners in this regard.’’ However, the majority of ministers in the state cabinet are not in favour of resumption of liquor sale in the lockdown.

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