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Gujarat permits alcohol in GIFT City

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Gujarat, the Indian state on the western coast of the country has recently decided to permit alcohol consumption within GIFT City to attract global financial institutions to the area.

Announced by the government last year on December 22, the allowance applies to hotels, restaurants, and clubs offering a “Wine and Dine” experience within Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), near Gandhinagar, a report in The Hindu said.

This exemption from the state’s prohibition law extends to officials, employees, and owners operating within GIFT City. A liquor access permit will be granted to all these individuals.

Moreover, the new regulations for GIFT City enable visitors to consume alcohol in hotels, restaurants, or clubs holding temporary permits, provided they are in the company of permanent employees of the respective company.

While these establishments within GIFT City can offer wine and dine facilities, they are prohibited from selling liquor bottles, the State government said.

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Gujarat, historically a dry state since its formation in 1960, has progressively relaxed its prohibition rules to appeal to foreign investments.

Initially, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were granted exemption from the state’s alcohol consumption laws.

Furthermore, the state’s tourism policy permitted licensed liquor stores in select hotels, where only tourists could purchase alcohol.

Presently, approximately 60 hotels and clubs have received permission to operate licensed liquor stores catering to tourists.

Additionally, nearly 48,000 local permit holders, based on health requirements and the state health department’s recommendations, are also served by these licensed establishments.

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