Kerala’s new bars to miss New Year season

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 29, 2014


In an about-turn, the Govt will issue beer-wine licences to 418 bars this week

Even as the protests against the ‘watered down’ liquor policy of the Oommen Chandy Government continue, the authorities are gearing up for issuing beer and wine licences to the 418 bars that have remained closed since April 1.

In an about-turn of its controversial liquor policy that would have got 90 per cent of the bars in the State locked down, the Government recently decided to allow the 418 bars to sell beer and wine. The purported rationale for this was to forestall a setback to tourism and prevent loss of jobs for the bar workers.

Sources said most of these bars, many of which have been refurbished to shed the ‘substandard’ tag, would get their licences this week. The Excise Department was speeding up the process so that the bars could open in a week. These bars would not be allowed to sell hard liquor. However, the bars would miss the New Year season. The anti-liquor organisations, especially those promoted by the Catholic Church, are furious that the Government has immensely diluted the new policy. They allege that the Government succumbed to the pressures of the ‘liquor lobby’ and political parties.

The anti-liquor organisations of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council are planning to put up several ‘standing up agitations’ to press the Government to revert to the previous liquor policy which aimed to shut almost all the bars and impose step-by-step prohibition over the next ten years.

Published on December 29, 2014
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