Gujarat Government’s Online Payment System for Liquor License Health Permits Faces Backlash

Last month, the Gujarat government rolled out an online payment system for health permits associated with liquor licenses, aiming to streamline the process and eliminate the need for agents. However, this move has backfired, as many permit holders, struggling with the compulsory online system, are now resorting to agents for assistance.

The Prohibition Department of Gujarat ceased accepting offline fees for health permits, making online payments mandatory. Additionally, the new policy enforces a stringent Rs. 25,000 penalty for missing the renewal deadline. This shift has left many permit holders frustrated and calling for a return to the previous offline system.

In 2023, the department issued 13,456 new and renewed permits in Ahmedabad. This year, however, only 76 new health permits have been issued, and just 1,772 have been renewed so far, highlighting the challenges posed by the new system.

A Prohibition Department officer explained that the online payment system was introduced to enhance transparency. However, he also noted that in cases of necessity, district inspectors are authorized to accept offline payments as well.

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