Kerala tweaks liquor policy, IT parks allowed to serve liquor
The liquor policy of the Kerala government is an annual ritual, when the rules are made for the new fiscal and becomes applicable from April 1 every year
On expected lines, the Pinarayi Vijayan government on Wednesday tweaked the liquor policy enabling opening of more retail outlets and the biggest gainer appears to be the IT parks in Kerala, where special earmarked areas will be provided where IT buffs can have a drink.
Incidentally, the liquor policy of the Kerala government is an annual ritual, when the rules are made for the new fiscal and becomes applicable from April 1 every year.
At present there are close to 400 retail outlets of the state owned Kerala State Beverages Corporation, which is the sole wholesaler of liquor and beer in the state and according to a source, more than 100 new retail outlets are expected to be opened.
The biggest gainer appeared to be the three IT parks in the state, where over one lakh professionals are employed at Technopark, Kochi Infopark and the Kozhikode IT park.
State Excise Minister M.V. Govindan pointed out that there has been a long standing demand from the IT professionals of a lack of facilities for recreation.
"It has been decided to allow sanction for special licenses to these parks where specially marked areas will be there in the park and facilities will be available for consumption of liquor under strict norms," said a statement from Govindan.
It was decided to continue the first day of every month as dry day and hence not a drop of liquor will be served in bars, clubs and all the retail outlets will be closed also.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to ban plastic liquor bottles from 2023-24 fiscal, and hence liquor companies will have to ensure that liquor is carried only in glass bottles.
The profile of liquor users in Kerala reveals that around 32.9 lakh people out of the 3.34 crore population in the state consume liquor, which includes 29.8 lakh men and 3.1 lakh women.
Around five lakh people consume liquor on a daily basis. Of this, around 83,851 people including 1,043 women are addicted to alcohol.
Taxes from sales of liquor is one of the highest revenue earner for the state exchequer.
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