The Chief Minister said that he would consider opening pubs in Kerala, especially for its IT workforce to unwind after long days of work.

Need a little fun CM Pinarayi says will consider opening pubs in Kerala
news Liquor policy Monday, November 11, 2019 - 14:55

What’s life without a little merriment? Looks like Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan believes that all work and no play certainly does not bode well for the people of Kerala.

In his 30- minute weekly television show ‘Naam Munoottu’, the Chief Minister said that he would consider opening pubs in Kerala, especially for its IT workforce to unwind after long days of work. 

“What are those things called pump? Pubs?,” the Chief Minister asks with a laugh. Stating that they had received complaints, he added, "The lack of such pubs have become a major criticism that has been raised against us. The Kerala government is seriously looking into this.”

According to reports, the Chief Minister said that complaints have risen about how the state’s IT employees or those employed in similar industries and just about everyone else in the state have very few options to unwind after a long day’s work. He said that the government will attempt to address this issue. 

Pinarayi also said that the government is considering revamping the existing Kerala Beverages Corporation (Bevco) outlets  to include better facilities. Further, to avoid long queues outside these outlets, the state government will also consider setting up super market style liquor outlets where customers can pick up spirits of their choice. Tamil Nadu’s state owned TASMAC and Karnataka have similar provisions where alcohol can be purchased from special outlets.

In 2017, the ruling LDF government took a sharp U turn from the previous UDF government’s stringent liquor policy which allowed liquor licenses only to 5 star hotels. This stringent policy led to over 700 hotels losing their bar license. 

The LDF government’s move helped boost the state’s revenue and tourism footfall, also ending the bias toward 5 star hotels.  Three and 4 star hotels were allowed to serve Indian Made Foreign Liquor and 2 star hotels were permitted to serve wine and beer. The government also gave a boost to the state’s traditional toddy industry by allowing restaurants/bars to serve toddy. 

The LDF’s election manifesto back in 2016 had also made it clear that the government was not in favour of alcohol prohibition but voluntary abstinence.

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