THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Backing KPCC president V M Sudheeran’s stand on the closure of ‘sub-standard’ bars in the state, Finance Minister K M Mani has said that the government’s policy was to bring down the consumption of liquor by reducing its availability.
“Our stand is same as that of the KPCC president. Liquor consumption is a social menace. The government’s view is that the consumption of liquor should be brought down in a gradual manner by reducing its availability,’’ Mani told media persons in New Delhi during a news conference. Mani’s comments came a day ahead of a meeting of UDF constituents on Thursday during which the closure of 418 sub-standard bars is slated to be discussed. Asked about the closure of bars for such a long period, Mani said that it was shut down in a legal manner. ‘’The longer it remains closed, the better,’’ he added.
On a query whether this will have an adverse impact on the state’s revenue, Mani said that more than revenue, the larger interests of the state was more important.
Asked about the divergent views within the Congress party on the bar issue, Mani said that he did not want to comment on issues concerning other parties.
“There may be different opinion from various quarters. But the UDF’s task is to bring out a consensus from among the divergent views,’’ he said.