With the Supreme Court order on ban of liquor outlets within 500 meters of state and national highways coming into effect from April 1, several outlets across the country were forced to down their shutters.
The Kerala government has estimated a revenue loss of Rs 5,000 crore with the closure of liquor outlets, in compliance with the Supreme Court order. Minister for Finance Thomas Isaac on Monday said that there is an expected revenue loss of Rs 5,000. He also said that the government will be forced to look for alternative solutions including de-notifying the state highways to tide over the crisis, as being done by states like Punjab and Maharashtra.
The government also fears that the revenue loss will affect the implementation of various welfare schemes. The government is likely to promulgate an ordinance for vesting the powers to provide no-objection certificates for setting up of liquor shops with the government, which is currently under the powers of local bodies, reports The Times of India. The Local self-government department (LSGD) is likely to speed up processing a request in this regard from the excise department. The request was reportedly forwarded a few months ago.
Thee excise department wrote to LSGD, since the powers are vested with the panchayats. For the government to implement a uniform policy across all the panchayats, the decision needs to be centralized. Times of India has quoted unnamed source as saying that the panchayats vetoing the no-objection certificates due to opposite political affiliations as that of the government have been one of the main reasons why the excise department has been unable to grant licences mostly to beer and wine parlours.