30 Dec 2023

Gujarat: This is how netizens reacted to lifting of ban on liquor in GIFT City

The Gujarat government recently announced the lifting of the liquor ban in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) to foster a "global business ecosystem." Despite being a 'dry state,' this decision aims to transform GIFT City into a vibrant financial and technological hub, attracting global investors, technical experts, and national/international companies, as per a statement from the state prohibition department.

Under the revised regulations, hotels, restaurants, and clubs in the GIFT City area will be granted permits for wine and dine facilities, marking a significant policy shift. This decision triggered diverse reactions from the public.

'Gujarat residents no longer need to travel to Daman & Diu for alcohol'

Some netizens adopted a sarcastic tone, noting that Gujarat residents no longer need to travel to Daman & Diu for alcohol. A netizen humorously commented, "Gujarat people will no longer have to go to Daman & Diu; they can now go to GIFT City to consume liquor legally," highlighting potential benefits like income tax exemptions and other financial perks.

How  employees in DREAM City would respond to this development

Another netizen playfully compared the liquor policy in GIFT City to other popular destinations like Mount Abu, Udaipur, Diu, and Daman. There was also speculation on how employees in Gujarat's Diamond Research and Mercantile City (DREAM City) would respond to this development.

Chitrak Shah, the founder of Shivalik Real Estate Institute, shared a GIF on X (formerly Twitter) expressing how investors might be feeling with the decision. The GIF featured Bobby Deol dancing to Jamal Qudu, a snippet from the movie "Animal," which also stars Ranbir Kapoor.

The context of Gujarat being Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace, with a long-standing prohibition on the manufacture, storage, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages, adds significance to this unprecedented exemption. 

Liquor access permits will be granted

Liquor access permits will now be granted to GIFT City company owners and employees, with temporary permits available for their visitors. Presently, outsiders visiting Gujarat can obtain temporary permits to purchase liquor from authorized outlets. 

Cong expresses strong disapproval

However, the opposition Congress, including Gujarat Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil, expressed strong disapproval, emphasizing the historical importance of the prohibition and demanding a reconsideration of the decision.

The demand for lifting the liquor ban is not new, as even in the past, former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela had advocated for such a change, and recently, the DREAM City in Surat, housing a diamond bourse, has also sought exemption from prohibition.a

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