THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition UDF has raised major corruption allegation against the Left government for its decision to sell Foreign Made Foreign Liquor (FMFL) through bars and beer and wine parlours. The UDF, which was planning to bring the issue as an adjournment motion before the Assembly on Monday, couldn’t do so after the house was adjourned early.
Senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhkrishnan, who was planning to bring it before the House, said the government has given permission to 17 companies to sell FMFL against the norms. “These include major companies like Bacardi. The government has even misled the Assembly on the issue. The finance bill was passed misleading the House,” said Thiruvanchoor, referring to a November 23 order in this regard.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged the government is trying to cover up the scam. He added his legal fight over the Brewery Distillery issue will continue. “As per the order, those who hold FL 1, 3, 4, 4A, 7, 11 and 12 licences can sell FMFL. That means clubs, bars, pubs, beer and wine parlours can sell FMFL. They have been given permission to sell FMFL anywhere in the state,” he said.
The government order allowing beer and wine parlours to sell FMFL is in violation of the government’s stance declared during the budget and the liquor policy, the UDF leaders alleged. Without changing the liquor policy, how can the government issue such an order, the leaders asked. How can the Excise Commissioner take such a decision, asked the UDF leaders.
They alleged the recent decision was part of a hidden understanding between the Left front and liquor lobby. It’s one of the biggest corruption by the government after the Brewery Distillery issue, they said.