The Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday allowed liquor vends to operate in the state from May 4, the day the third phase of the coronavirus lockdown begins.
Himachal Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the decision was taken during a state cabinet meeting on Saturday.
Giving some relaxations, the Union government on Friday extended the lockdown by two weeks till May 17. The second phase of the nationwide lockdown will end on Sunday.
Bhardwaj said it was decided not to charge any licence fee from liquor vends for the period March 22 to May 3 they remained closed due to the lockdown.
He said it was also decided in the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to change the excise policy period for the current and the next fiscal year.
The excise policy for 2019-20 will continue till May 31 against the earlier March 31, he said. The period of the excise policy for 2020-21 will start from June 1 and continue till May 31, 2021, he added.
Similarly, the toll barrier policy for the 2019-20 financial year will continue till May 31, whereas for 2020-21, it will start from June 1 this year and continue till May 31 next year.