Bangladesh's home ministry sets new alcohol consumption rules
People below 21 years of age are not permitted to take liquors, according to a new alcohol rule.
Accordingly, consumption and usage of alcohol would need official permission.
In the meantime, licence, permit and renewal fees have been revised upward for all types of alcohol-related permission.
A maximum of three units of alcohol can be sold at a time and seven units in a month to the permitted holders, except special cases, says the rule.
The authorities would be able to issue licence to sell alcohol in an area - having at least 100 local or foreign liquor permit holders.
The newly-issued Alcohol Control Rules 2022 of the Ministry of Home Affairs incorporated these provisions to ensure discipline in sale, marketing, import-export, storage, production, processing and consumption of alcohol.
Carrying and transportation of alcohol would also need pass, while import-export, production, processing, supply, marketing, sale, purchase, storage and containing alcohol would require licences.
The Ministry of Home issued the rules to properly implement the Narcotics Control Law 2018.
Earlier, rates of fees were fixed under the Narcotics Control (Licence and Permit Fees) Rules 2014 for issuing bar licence, renewing individual alcohol consumption permit, and other related issues.
Each bottle must have health warning label. Alcohol of any brand can be sold, even without bar or club, if it has approval of the director general.
As per the policy, bars, off-shops, on-shops and local liquor shops have to keep closed on Fridays, Muharram, Shab-e-Baraat, Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Shab-e-Kadar, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha and other government declared holidays.
Conditions have been set for establishing bar in hotels, restaurants and clubs - having at least 200 permit holder members, export processing zones, theme parks, and the government's development projects - where foreign nationals reside.
Five-star and above ranked hotels would get licence to set up seven bars.
Foreign remittance earner duty-free shops can import alcohol. Restaurants, hotels, clubs or bars would be able to procure 40 per cent of their required alcohol from Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation by paying duty-taxes at regular rates or through import. The rest 60 per cent could be collected from local sources.
Clubs having more than 200 permit holder members can import highest 40 per cent of foreign liquor, and the rest 60 per cent could be procured from local sources.
Alcohol permit holders or licence holders would not be allowed to show alcohol products to other persons for commercial or other purposes to attract people.
The rules have also specified opening and closure time of bars and liquor selling shops.
The rules have separate guidelines for homeopathic medicine importers, tea garden workers, and indigenous people in Hill Tracts area for import, use and consumption of alcohol or these types of products.
Talking to the FE, Md Masud Hossain, Deputy Director - Department of Narcotics Control, said the new rules have specified different issues, including the age restriction on consumption of alcohol.
Conditions of giving permission to sell alcohol have been imposed to bring discipline in this sector, he noted.
Alcohol is also used for treatment, producing medicine, and consumption of indigenous people, so there should be a clear guideline to check its misuse.
There were inconsistencies in the Hill Tracts law and alcohol policy, which have been addressed in the rules, he added.