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Bars in 3-,4-star hotels to reopen as Kerala unveils new liquor policy

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 09, 2017

Restaurants with bar and beer/bar licences would be allowed to serve liquor in their banquet halls on payment of a special fee.

Legal age for buying and consuming liquor has been raised from 21 years to 23 years

The Kerala government has declared its much-awaited liberalised liquor policy that permits opening of bars in three star and four star hotels.

This effectively replaces the aggressive policy of the previous regime aiming at phased prohibition adopted more because of 'internal political pressures than practical considerations. '

LEGAL AGE RAISED

Announcing the new policy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that liquor would be available at all domestic lounges of airports. Bars would be allowed to sell 'quality toddy' as well.

The government has also decided to reduce the working hours at bars by half-an-hour to 12 hours. The legal age for buying and consuming liquor has been raised from 21 years to 23 years.

Bars would be now remain from 11 am to 11 pm in towns and cities. In tourism centres, they can do business from 10 am to 11 pm.

Restaurants with bar and beer/bar licences would be allowed to serve liquor in their banquet halls on payment of a special fee.

Another highlight of the policy was proposal for setting up a Toddy Board to promote value addition in toddy and ensure toddy workers' welfare.

EFFECTIVE JULY 1

The new policy would become effective from July 1, the Chief Minister said.

The liquor vends by the sides of the highways that were closed down following a Supreme Court order would be allowed to shift to new locations in the same taluk.

This would help the thousands of people who used to be employed by the businesses and who were laid off following their closure.

The Chief Minister also said that the policy prescription of the previous Congress-led regime to close down 10 per cent of liquor outlets every year would be scrapped.

This policy had proved a total failure and had only helped increase substance abuse in the state with serious implications to normal life and law and order.

Prohibition as a policy has not succeeded anywhere it was attempted, the Chief Minister said, adding that his government would instead take up a campaign to promote abstention.

Published on June 09, 2017
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