THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association (KHRA) has alleged that the government’s liquor policy was impractical and supportive of the corporates.
Association working presidents K P Balakrishna Pothuval and G Jayapal said here that if the government was sincere about the target of achieving total liquor prohibition, it should have closed down the Bevco outlets first.
The association leaders said that the government which had succumbed to the pressure and even threats of the religious leaders, has let down restaurant/ hotel industry which had spent crores of rupees to renovate the bars.
The decision has been a huge setback to the tourism sector.
They asked whether the government would own up the liabilities of the hotel-owners who had availed of huge loans from banks.
They said the fate of the bar workers would be the same as the fate of the toddy workers who had been rendered jobless following the arrack ban in the state.
“The tourism sector would be hit by the closure of the bars and tourists would go to other states,” they said.
They alleged that limiting bar licence only to the five-star hotels means that the government is favouring the corporates only.
They pointed out that the five-star hotels were owned by corporates.
They also said that the government was silent about the major clubs in the state. The association also wanted the government to withdraw from the move.