Goa government on Wednesday amended the State Excise Act during the ongoing monsoon session of the State Legislative Assembly, seeking to fine those found drinking in proposed ‘no alcohol consumption zones’ across the State.
The fine would range from Rs.1,000 to Rs.10,000, the bill said.
The amendment bill recommends identification of such zones across Goa, in response to growing complaints about tourists drinking alcohol in public places such as beaches, roads and highways and littering these spots.
Mr. Shantaram Naik, Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Goa, said on Thursday that although the bill was good in principle, it had not specified the zones, leaving that to the rule-making authority, which is the government.
“This is an arbitrary way of resorting to delegation legislation,” Mr. Naik said in a statement issued from New Delhi.
Mr. Naik further said that the power of compounding offences given to officers may lead to corruption.
The objective clause of the bill said the government receives a number of complaints of consumption of liquor in public places, mostly by visiting tourists. Empty bottles and cans strewn around cause environmental degradation and are a hazard to pedestrians.