Chandigarh: Haryana Government passed the Haryana Excise (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the state legislative assembly, lowering the minimum age of consuming alcohol from 25 to 21 years. The bill was passed to further amend the Haryana Excise (Amendment) Act, 2021.
Under section 27 of the act, the lease for manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of any country liquor or intoxicating drug was earlier granted by the state government to a man not below the age of 25 years. This minimum age has now been reduced to 21. Liquor/any intoxicating drug can be sold to a person aged at least 21 years old by a vendor/employee of such vendor as per Section 29 of the act. Under section 30 now, persons aged atleast 21 years old or more may be employed by the person who is licensed to sell any type of liquor/intoxicating drug.
‘At the time of framing the Excise Policy for the year 2021-22, it was discussed that the above age limit may be reduced from twenty-five years to twenty-one years, as many of other States have prescribed lower age limits. The National Capital Territory of Delhi has also recently reduced this age limit to twenty-one years. Moreover, the socio-economic conditions of the day have changed drastically from the time when the above provisions were incorporated in the Excise Act. The people now are more educated and participating in new endeavours and also can take rational decisions when it comes to responsible drinking’, an official release from the government read.
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Further, now Section 62 provides that if any licensed vendor or its employee or any person acting on his behalf, sells or deliver any liquor or intoxicating drug to any person apparently under the age of 21 years, he shall in addition to any other penalty to which he may be liable be punishable with a fine that may extend to Rs 50,000.
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