Bar licenses to be issued soon

PM seeks opinions concerning observing Tuesday as alcohol free day
In one of the most criticized bill passed by the parliament by civil society organizations (CSOs) and health personnel, the government during the Sixth Session of the Third Parliament in 2021, lifted the ban on bar licenses, arguing that fronting and other illegal activities are rampant due to the ban. However, even after a year, bar licenses have not been issued and the economic affairs minister, Loknath Sharma in Meet the Press of May 6, 2022 said that it will soon be issued. 
Lyonpo Loknath Sharma told the media that he is in favor of the government issuing bar licenses to those who want to open bars. Lyonpo said that bar licenses will enable people to sustain themselves economically and rise from the economic impacts of the COVID pandemic.
He explained that prior to the ban, there were no rules and regulations concerning issuing bar licenses. “But the National Assembly recommended to pass the motion to lift this moratorium, but with rules and regulations in place. So, we have already prepared some rules and regulations, how to do it, some restrictions, and we have submitted it to the PMO,” he said, adding he is awaiting response from the PMO. Lyonpo Loknath also expressed confidence that the PMO will respond positively and very soon. Further, Lyonpo also said that the government is discussing rules and regulations to improve entertainment centers as well as the bar licenses.
Speaking along the lines of Lyonpo Loknath, the Prime Minister said that some issues are being debated, adding that a common point of discussion pertains to observing Tuesday as a dry day. 
“Tuesday is observed as a dry day across the whole country. Other countries do not follow such rules except maybe on religious days and all. There have been many arguments and counter arguments, such as the fact that dry days can at least minimize alcohol consumption in the country. On the other hand, people still serve and drink alcohol secretly and it will be impossible to monitor each and every bar on Tuesdays. I am currently trying to get information from the neutral parties,” the PM said.
Meanwhile, there are opponents of this policy, especially CSOs and medical professionals. 
A member of a CSO said Alcohol liver disease (ALD) continues to be the top killer in the country. “As per the Annual Health Bulletin 2021, on average, 14 people die in a month due to ALD. The report also stated that ALD has been claiming the highest number of deaths in the country since a decade ago,” he said, adding that in 2020, almost 170 deaths were reported due to ALD, an increase of about 30 deaths from 2019.
“Moreover cases of ALD were found to be high in the age group of 25-49 years, which is the productive age group,” he said. 
According to him, mental and behavioral disorders due to alcohol also increased to more than 1,500 cases in 2020 from about 1,300 in 2019. “And alcohol abuse is also one of the factors triggering domestic violence and other social problems,” he said.