Bengaluru: A draft notification has been issued to relax the age limit for buying and selling liquor from 21 years to 18 years, Excise Minister K. Gopalaiah informed the Legislative Council.
Answering a question from Govindaraju of JDS during the question and answer session on Thursday, the minister said that a draft notification was issued on January 9, 2023, regarding the relaxation of the age limit for the sale and purchase of liquor and that a 30 days time has been given for raising objections and suggestions.
Notably, 30 days time period has already expired when the minister gave the answer.
Moreover, the Karnataka government, in a statement, had withdrawn its proposal to lower the minimum age for drinking in the state following “objections raised by public, associations and media”. The Commissioner of Excise said in a notification that the draft amendment rule was withdrawn with immediate effect.
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Lowering the age was recommended by a high-level committee set up under retired bureaucrat V Yashwanth to identify and eliminate “redundant aspects” in the excise law and rules.
The committee had made such a proposal in order to remove the confusion between the factors specified in relation to age in section 36 (1) (g), (which limits the legal age to 18 years) of the Karnataka Excise Act, 1965 and rule 10 (1) (e) (which has a higher limit of legal age of 21 years) of the Karnataka Excise (General Clauses of Charters) Rules, 1967, the Karnataka Excise Act/Rules.
The excise minister’s statement in the Upper House has created further confusion about whether the proposal to lower the age limit is being considered.
(With ANI inputs)