Liquor Stock: Excise Dept in a Dilemma

Although the Excise Dept had issued orders to Bevco to buy back the liquor, it has replied that it could face trouble finding buyers

Published: 03rd November 2014 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd November 2014 08:18 AM   |  A+A-

liquor_EPS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Seven months after 418 bars across the state were shut down, the State Government is yet to decide what is to be done with the thousands of cases of liquor remaining in these bars.

Although the Excise Department had issued orders to the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) to buy back the liquor, Bevco has replied that it could face trouble finding buyers. Bevoc bases its argument on a report of the ADGP Intelligence that the liquor stocks could have been tampered with and it was best to destroy it.

“There is no other option but to destroy it. We can’t inspect each and every bottle to see whether it has been tampered with or not,’’ a senior Bevco official said.

Announcing the new liquor policy in August, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had announced that the liquor stocks in the closed-down bars would be bought back by the State Government.

 Of the 730 bars in Kerala, 418 bars have been remaining shut since April after the government declared them as sub-standard.

 According to the Kerala Bar Hotels Association, IMFL, beer and wine worth above `100 crore had been idling in these closed-down bars.

“Stocks worth around `25 crore have been transferred to other open bars. But the remaining stock- worth `75 crore - is still there,’’ KBHA president Rajkumar Unni said.

 “We will buy back the liquor. But we have not decided what to do with it after that,’’ Excise Commissioner Anil Xavier said.

Few Options for Department

In reality, the Excise Department has few options but to destroy the liquor in the light of the Intelligence report.

But that decision also is fraught with problems, according to Excise Minister K Babu.

“Bevco has written back saying it will have trouble selling the liquor. If we are to destroy it, we have to find a suitable space to do it. We also must deal with issues such as pollution,’’ Babu said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp