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Tourism Creates Jobs, Why Kill it? Asks Niti Aayog’s Amitabh Kant on SC’s Highway Liquor Ban

Even as bar and liquor shop owners are in a fix after Supreme court's refusal to lift the ban on the sale of liquor on highways, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has spoken up against the order.

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Updated:April 3, 2017, 8:21 AM IST
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Tourism Creates Jobs, Why Kill it? Asks Niti Aayog’s Amitabh Kant on SC’s Highway Liquor Ban
A TV grab of NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant. (CNN-News18)

New Delhi: Even as bar and liquor shop owners are in a fix after Supreme court's refusal to lift the ban on the sale of liquor on highways, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has spoken up against the order.

Kant says that the ban would kill a million jobs. Many bar owners are saying they will defy the ban until forcibly closed by the police. Meanwhile, some states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh have denotified state highways to circumvent the ban.

"It's a black day in the history of hospitality industry. We appreciate the stand of SC as far as drunken driving is concerned. But there should have been a carve out for the hospitality industry. Incredible India campaign by our PM will be hit badly. This sort of a judgment will put a question mark on the image of the country," said Arjun Sharma, Managing Director, Select group.

Liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down, following the Supreme Court order, but hill states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh and areas having population up to 20,000 are exempted.

In a significant order passed on pleas of various states seeking modification of the court's December 15, 2016 verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar also made it clear that the judgment banning liquor vends along highways would also be applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents.

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