The Uttar Pradesh government has made it mandatory for people who want to stock over four liquor bottles at home to obtain a personal home bar licence, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

The rules issued by the state excise department in January became operational on Thursday evening.

As per the new rules, people can store up to four bottles of liquor – two each of foreign brands and Indian brands – without a licence. With the home bar licence, one can store up to 72 bottles among 15 categories of liquor, according to the rules.

RB Singh, district excise officer of Gautam Budh Nagar district, told the Hindustan Times that people can apply for a licence at the district excise commissioner’s office, and the district magistrate will approve the application.

“The annual licence fee is Rs 12,000 while the security deposit is Rs 51,000,” he said.

Singh said that the rules are aimed at providing legal recognition to people who want to maintain a bar at home. “The rules are not for harassing any individual,” he said. “So, if anyone is holding a party at home, there is scope for leniency.”

When the state government had announced the rules in January in its excise policy for 2021-’22, The Indian Express had quoted officials as saying that the policy was in response to harassment complaints filed by people who had mini bars at home.

Uttar Pradesh State Excise Commissioner Sanjay Bhoosreddy had told the newspaper that there had been a demand for introducing such a provision “to allow people to keep more than the prescribed limit of liquor at home by taking a licence for the same”.