The Pinarayi government has also said that it will not shut down 10% of the shops as announced by the earlier government.

news Politics Thursday, March 02, 2017 - 09:44

The CPI(M)-led government in Kerala has started the process of reversing the controversial liquor policy of the previous United Democratic Front government, which had taken steps towards prohibition of alcohol in the state. The Pinarayi government has said that 4-star hotels will get their bar licenses back and that no liquor shops will be shut, according to Deccan Chronicle.

The liquor policy of the former UDF government, which was put in place in October 2014, envisaged total prohibition in ten years. Besides, the government had also announced closure of 10% of retail outlets in the state every year to achieve the target of total ban in a decade.

When the CPI (M) led Left Democratic Front came to power in the state, all eyes were on the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to see how he would bring out changes in the policy, as it was beyond doubt that the LDF won’t follow it as it is. Media reports state that now the government, is making changes in the policy by allowing the reopening of bars in tourist destinations, apart from scrapping the decision to shut down outlets every year. Only a month is left for the government to announce the new policy. It is likely to open around 40 four-star bars in tourist centres.

The New Indian Express quoted a CPM state committee member saying that “the liquor ban is not a feasible way and abstinence from alcohol should be promoted. The setback to the tourism sector is also a reality. The party has always stood with toddy workers. Hence revival of toddy sector will be given preference.”

A report of the department of tourism had suggested relaxation in sale of liquor in tourist destinations. The new liquor policy will come to effect from April 1. The UDF’s liquor policy allowed sale of foreign liquor in five star hotels only. It closed down more than 700 bars in the state.

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