The Saskatchewan government appears to be backing away from a proposal to let individual municipalities set their own liquor hours.

On Wednesday, Donna Harpauer, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, told a meeting of mayors and councillors that the government won't proceed with such an idea if it's not something the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association wants.

The province introduced dozens of proposed changes to liquor and gambling regulations last fall as part of a plan to reduce red tape and modernize the rules.

In November, Jim Engel, corporate services vice-president for SLGA, sent a letter to cities suggesting the current system where there's one set of bar hours for the entire province might change.

"Government is considering a further change which would allow individual municipalities to establish new operating hours for permitted premises within the municipality that will override those set by the provincial regulations," Engel's Nov. 20, 2012 letter said.

The letter suggested municipalities might be permitted to set hours that were more restrictive or less restrictive than what's currently in place.

The idea has held some appeal with civic leaders in places like Prince Albert and La Ronge, which have struggled with alcohol abuse issues.

However, Harpauer said the government will not be pushing such changes. Harpauer made her comments Wednesday during a "bear pit" session at SUMA's annual meeting in Saskatoon.