The tenth Vibrant Gujarat Summit is around the corner, and on Friday Gujarat government made a strategic move by partially relaxing its 63-year-old liquor ban law off Gandinagar’s GIFT City as an attempt to lure more foreign and corporate investors in GIFT City. The Gujarat government will allow alcohol consumption in GIFT City’s restaurants, clubs, and hotels to offer their visitors fine-wine-dine services. Liquor ban relaxation has undoubtedly made the “dry-state” Gujarat a bit wet, as alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited in the heritage province. Firstly, GIFT City’s marvelous infrastructures were the ones to make history in the Indian economy, but the half-a-century-old liquor ban exemption truly outran the marvelous properties, as GIFT City became the first area in the entire Gujarat state to be granted such exemption.
Gujarat, which has consistently been recognized as a heritage state, a state of art and culture, and the birthplace of our Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, has firmly stood onto its ban on not just liquor manufacturing but also on storage, sale, and consumption. Gujarat has also stayed firm on this decision from day one of its formation. This one-of-a-kind decision intends to enhance the environment of an international business hub.
With time, GIFT City has emerged as not just a global financial hub but a technological hub that has effectively attracted significant economic activities. The strategic move will enhance facilities for foreign investors, domestic and international firms, and technical experts operating their businesses in GIFT City.
According to the latest statement by the state prohibition department new rules about the wine-dine services from both existing and future hotels, clubs, and restaurants. However, these hotels, restaurants, and clubs cannot sell alcohol bottles to customers. The prohibition is designed for workers working in GIFT City and their business guests. However, GIFT City officials still need to clarify whether the liquor permit applies to GIFT City residents.
The statement also stated that all the GIFT City employees and business owners will be allowed to consume liquor. Adding to this, the individuals allowed by the firms or their visitors can consume alcohol only in the presence of regular employees using a temporary permit.
What Others Have to Say?
With the recent relaxation of prohibition laws, hotels in GIFT City are expected to experience a significant increase in foot traffic. This rise in visitors is likely to boost the occupancy rates of hotels, resulting in a direct economic boost for hotel chains operating in the area. Kabir Suri, President of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and Co-Founder and Director of Azure Hospitality, believes this development will catalyze positive change. He notes that the relaxation of prohibition laws will likely drive higher footfall of visitors to GIFT City, leading to increased employment opportunities in the region. This can positively affect the local economy, providing further benefits. The recent announcement by the Gujarat government regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages is more than just a policy change; it signifies a significant cultural shift. Nita Kapoor, the CEO of the International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI), has lauded the government's progressive stance. Being from Gujarat herself, she considers it a positive step for the AlcoBev industry and the consumers. As an association, ISWAI advocates for informed decisions and responsible drinking practices. They promote moderation among individuals in society for their well-being. According to Nita Kapoor, the government's announcement will help teach these societal values. It is a step in the right direction, enabling responsible drinking practices and creating a more informed and aware society.
Gujarat's decision to exempt GIFT City from liquor prohibitions marks a pivotal shift with multifaceted impacts. This strategic move is anticipated to stimulate economic growth, foster a vibrant nightlife, and encourage entrepreneurial ventures in craft liquor. GIFT City's cultural landscape is poised for a transformation, blending global spirits with domestic and other international cuisine.
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Moreover, the decision reflects an adaptive approach to societal norms, shaping a more inclusive and dynamic environment. As GIFT City navigates this new chapter, its experiences will undoubtedly provide valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of governance, economics, and cultural integration in the contemporary world.
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