THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what could be an indication of liquor outlets opening soon, the State Beverages Corporation has initiated steps to purchase nearly 270 thermal scanners to screen customers. The scanners will be able to identify people with symptoms of Covid-19 and hence prevent them from joining queues in front of outlets.
According to Beverages Corporation managing director G Sparjan Kumar, the department has initiated measures to avail the scanners at the earliest. “We hope to arrange the facility prior to opening the outlets. Efforts have already been taken through government and other agencies,” he said.
Official figures reveal the closure of liquor outlets since March 25 has brought loss in sales to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore for both the government and Bevco. The corporation which owns 265 outlets sells Indian and foreign-made liquor across the state. About 15 per cent of the proceeds is retained by the corporation for its needs while the rest goes to the government as sales tax and customs duty.
“On average, our daily sales are pegged at `40 crore. By May 3, we will be losing out on a huge amount,” Sparjan said. According to a Bevco official, a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) has been released to senior officials by the managing director regarding steps that are to be taken to ensure safety of customers and staff. The corporation will disinfect outlets and its premises using chemicals permitted by the health department. Soaps, sanitisers, masks and gloves will also be provided to the staff and social distancing will be strictly maintained, said the official.
A1,600cr loss in sales suffered by the government and Bevco due to closure of liquor outlets since March 25
‘revoke move to open bars’
T’Puram: Former KPCC president V M Sudheeran has shot off a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, demanding to revoke the decision on the opening of bars in the state. He opined that ever since the lockdown was enforced, the state had been seeing the benefits of bars being shut. “The closure of bars has had a major impact in the state’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.