Manoj Sinha, the lieutenant governor, served as chair of the Administrative Council (AC), which met here and approved the proposal for allowing department stores to sell beer and other Ready to Drink (RTD) beverages in urban areas.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary for J&K, and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor.
The Administrative Council gave its approval for the inclusion of lax provisions in the Excise Policy, 2023–2024 and the Jammu and Kashmir Liquor License and Sale Rules, 1984, in order to grant License JKEL–2A for the retail sale of beer and other ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages in department stores in urban areas of the state of UT.
Departmental Stores in Commercial Complexes that have been approved by the appropriate authority and meet certain requirements, such as having a total carpet area of at least 1200 (One Thousand Two Hundred) Square Feet and an annual turnover of at least 5 Crores in Jammu and Srinagar Cities and 2 Crores for stores in other urban areas, are eligible for the programme. Additionally, chains of department stores with annual sales of more than Rs. 10 crores will be qualified to submit separate licence applications for each of their stores.
At least a year should have passed since the department store shut its doors before the application deadline.
However, this requirement will not apply to newly or recently opened department stores that are part of a chain and have an annual turnover of more than Rs. 10 crores.
Additionally, department stores must carry a minimum of six items from each of the following categories: groceries, frozen foods, confections, bakery goods, toiletries, cosmetics, household goods, utensils and kitchenware, sports goods, electrical and electronic appliances, clothing, and stationery. Additionally, in accordance with the aforementioned ruling, department stores operating at gas pumps are not eligible for consideration when applying for a licence.
In consultation with the relevant Deputy Commissioner, the Administrative Council also granted permission to the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation for the retail sale of beer and ready-to-drink beverages in underserved and unserved areas.