MP Excise Minister Refutes Reports Saying Women-Only Liquor Shops To Soon Open in State

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Excise Minister Brijendra Singh Rathore on Thursday denied media reports that said exclusive liquor shops for women will soon open in the state.

“There are liquor shops meant for sale of branded foreign liquor in cities. I am not aware about anything like the concept of all-women liquor outlets,” he said.

The clarification came after a few media reports, quoting senior officials in the Commercial Tax Department, said that in order to boost revenues and facilitate women to buy high-end wine and whiskey, outlets exclusive for them were being opened in the state on the lines of metro cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.

“It was seen for long that there were people in Madhya Pradesh who prefer branded foreign liquor, which is not available in normal liquor outlets, and they have to source it either from foreign countries, airports or others, which causes revenue loss to the state. So, we decided to open two branded liquor shops each at Bhopal and Indore and one each at Gwalior and Jabalpur to tap revenues,” Rathore said, underlining the fact there is “nothing like all-women exclusive shops” being opened in the state.

“I have absolutely no idea about this (all-women liquor outlets),” he said.

On being asked if he is unaware about all-women liquor shops or it means there is no such plan for this, he replied in the affirmative.

However, Rathore said the makers of branded liquors would be asked to set up their own outlets to sell products.

Rathore also slammed opposition parties for engaging in “false propaganda” on excise policy and urged them to offer statements only after reading it properly.

“Had they read the policy with attention, they would know that there is no provision of sub shops for liquor outlets and also the online process is meant for tracking illegal sale of liquor and tapping revenue loss,” he said.