Meanwhile, the LDF government has decided to hike the bar licence fees.

Keralas liquor policy for new fiscal out no plan to start pubs for nowImage for representation
news Liquor Policy Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 10:36

For those who were waiting to enjoy their nights at pubs in Kerala, the liquor policy of the LDF government for the new fiscal has come as a disappointment. The liquor policy for the year 2020-21, approved by the state cabinet on Tuesday, says nothing about starting pubs in Kerala as was told by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan two months back.

It was in November, during a weekly television show, that the CM unexpectedly said that pubs will be started in Kerala and that the state government has been seriously looking into the criticisms raised over lack of such facilities here. This had given expectations to many that the government’s next liquor policy will include the starting of pubs.

According to multiple reports, this is because of the stand of the CPI(M), which heads the Left government, that the government should not delve into controversies at a time when elections are just around the corner. From bye-polls to upcoming local body polls, the CPI(M) is getting ready for another election battle this year. Pinarayi Vijayan’s earlier statement on starting pubs had elicited mixed reactions, with many supporting and opposing the move.

The liquor policy has also wiped off speculations about dry days - liquor shops being closed on the 1st of every month - being taken off. Nothing has been mentioned about changing dry days in the policy.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to hike the licence fees for bars and liquor shops. Licence fees of FL3 bars will be increased from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 30 lakh and that of FL4 (club) will be hiked from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. Also, licence fee of FL7 bars (airport lounge) will be hiked from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. It was in 2017-18 that the licence fee of bars was increased last.  

It has also been decided that selling food items in toddy shops will be made legal. 

Read:

Those inciting communal disharmony will face stringent action: Kerala Police chief

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