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Gurgaon pubs can party 24×7

If you were worried that the bell would go before you left work and got to the bar, raise a toast now to Gurgaon. Haryana’s new excise policy allows pubs and bars in plush hotels to stay open all night.

The decision to let the Delhi suburb, heavily populated by call centres and BPOs where young folks pull late night shifts, was taken at a state cabinet meeting presided over by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday.

The excise policy for 2008-09 pegs the license fee for pubs and bars in four-star and above hotels at Rs 10 lakh. However, by paying double that, the hotel can keep the bar open 24 hours. Bar timings can be extended by two hours on payment of an additional Rs 5 lakh.

Bringing more cheer for tipplers, Haryana, which had allowed wine to be sold in department stores in shopping malls, is now allowing them to stock whisky, beer, vodka, gin and rum on their shelves. The relaxed norms will also apply to Faridabad and the Chandigarh suburb of Panchkula.

“Gurgaon is fast becoming a 24×7 city where more and more of the workforce keeps US timings,” said Mohit Sharma of Last Chance pub. He was among those who had petitioned the state for relaxing bar hours. Sharma said over 2.5 lakh people work late nights in Gurgaon, the country’s BPO and KPO capital.

Relief was also provided to the licensees — the system of payment of 80% license fee in eight installments has been revised to nine and the last date for depositing the fee has been pushed back from the 15th of each month to the 20th. Haryana residents, who could keep a maximum of 72 bottles of liquor, can now stock as many as 108 bottles.

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