The Member from Athang-Thedtsho constituency, Kinley Wangchuk moved the motion to lift the ban on the Bar License in Bhutan seconded by the Member from Chhoekhor-Tang constituency.
According to the Member from Athang-Thedtsho, studies show that the restriction of bar license since 2010 has not reduced consumption of alcohol but has increased illegal sale of alcohol, fronting, and unethical license trade and operation of numerous illegal bars.
He said that the practice of selling and hiring bar licenses has become rampant, where people are willing to buy licenses illegally at Nu.500000 to Nu.600000 when the actual license fees range from Nu.5000 to Nu.15000 affecting the standalone bars in the country.
The Member reiterated that the objective of restriction of bar licenses has not been fulfilled even after 10 years. Therefore, the Member moved the motion to lift the ban on bar licenses and that
The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the relevant stakeholders to maximize their efforts in creating awareness on the ills of alcohol consumption.
The Health Minister raised concerns over lifting the ban on the bar licenses and the impact it would have on the health of the people and the Health expenditure incurred due to treatment of alcohol-related diseases.
The House voted on the motion with 37 Yes, 3 No and 1 Abstain out of 41 Members present and voting, thereby passing both the motion.