The new year has brought some good news to alcohol consumers and sellers in rural Maharashtra, as the State government has decided to allow liquor shops under gram panchayats to renew licences, a procedure that was on hold since April 2017. As per a government circular issued on January 1 and a letter sent by the State Excise Commissioner to all district collectors, except for the dry districts of Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, the licences can be renewed in any gram panchayat which fulfils at least one of two criteria. The first is that the population under the gram panchayat should be at least 3,000 as per the 2011 census. Alternatively, the area should be located within 3 km of the limits of a municipal corporation or within a kilometre of a municipal council or municipal panchayat. According to a government official, the decision will benefit 1,500 permit rooms, and 400 country liquor and 700 beer shops. As per a Supreme Court decision of December 2016, wine shops and permit rooms within 500 m of highways were stopped from selling alcohol. Later, the move was amended to exclude highways within city limits.“A number of licence holders who still could not get their permits renewed had approached the Bombay High Court through writ petitions. In May 2018, the court directed the State government to hold hearings of these cases. Following the hearing, the government has decided to allow renewal of licences,” an official from the Excise Department said.
India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal made a rousing start to her bid for an Olympic medal as she beat Swiss Sabrina Jaquet in straight games in women’s singles group stage opening match on Sunday. The world number five Saina was too good for the 65th ranked Sabrina as she took just 22 minutes to complete a 21-9 21-4 victory at the Wembley arena.Sabrina, who had qualified for the Games by reaching the quarter finals of the 2012 European Championship in Karlskrona, Sweden, could not provide any resistance to Saina, who launched her campaign on a dominating note.The 22-year-old Indian, who came into the tournament after winning the Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indonesian Super Series Premium last month, took 12 minutes to wrap up the first game, before sealing the issue in her favour by winning the second game in just 10 minutes.Such was the domination of the Indian that Sabrina was reduced to a bystander as the Indian kept lapping up her points in quick succession. The girl from Hyderabad led by a massive 12 and 17 points in the first and second game respectively.Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals in her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games four years ago, will take on Lianne Tan of Belgium in another group E match on Monday.
CHARLOTTETOWN — A look at Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of Prince Edward Island’s Green party.Age: 56.Early years: Bevan-Baker grew up in Scotland. He was a member of the Cub Scouts and later the Sea Scouts. He immigrated to Canada in 1985, living in Newfoundland and then Ontario before settling in Prince Edward Island in 2003. He became a Canadian citizen in 1992.Education: He earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.Career: He ran a dental clinic, cafe and community hall in Hampton, P.E.I. He ran unsuccessfully nine times federally and provincially for the Green party before becoming the first Green member of the P.E.I. legislature in 2015.Family: Married to his wife Ann for 28 years. They have four children.Quote: “On P.E.I. we face lots of problems ranging from mental health to sustainable agriculture to securing predictable long-term economic prosperity. Governing well means recognizing them all and bringing forward a coherent, integrated suite of policies and actions to deal with them in a balanced and cohesive way. But it also means recognizing what things must take precedence; what issues must be placed prior to the others. All issues are critical to some people, but some issues are fundamental to everyone’s well-being.” – From a recent blog post. The Canadian Press