KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to formulate within two months a scheme for the rehabilitation of the employees of the liquor bars who had been retrenched following the previous UDF Government’s decision to close down all bars except those functioning in five-star hotels.
The court order came on a plea from the ex-bar employees who had lost their job with effect from April 1, 2014 due to the change in the Abkari Policy for 2014-2015.
The government had come out with a plan- ‘Punarjani-2030’ for rehabilitating the retrenched bar employees and imposed a five per cent cess on liquor sold through Bevco. The cess was collected from October 2014. The government has collected `650.75 crore by way of cess till December 2016. The government is yet to spend money on the rehabilitation of workers who are still without a job, the petitioners claimed.
According to the HC, the government had not so far come out with any guidelines to implement the order on the rehabilitation of the former bar employees. Therefore, it is imperative to frame a scheme in tune with the government order for rehabilitation of the employees. The scheme should be formulated without delay, the court held.