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'Specially designated areas' in IT parks to serve liquor in Kerala; more premium outlets planned

However, the word 'pub' has not been mentioned for the facility proposed in IT parks, reportedly due to opposition from within the LDF.

Published: 30th March 2022 03:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2022 03:10 PM   |  A+A-

liquor

(Representational Image | AP)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The liquor policy of the LDF government for 2022-23, which was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, proposes serving liquor in 'specially designated areas' within IT parks - a long pending demand from the IT sector.

"There have been complaints that employees and visitors to IT parks do not have avenues for leisure after work hours. A special license will be issued for serving liquor in areas earmarked for the purpose in IT parks subject to strict conditions," said a statement from Excise Minister MV Govindan's office.

However, the word 'pub' has not been mentioned for the facility proposed in IT parks, reportedly due to opposition from within the LDF.

According to the liquor policy, premium liquor outlets will be opened in place of the retail outlets that were closed down earlier. Steps will also be taken to reduce crowding in retail outlets. More liquor outlets will be modernised by introducing a 'walk-in facility'.

The new liquor policy also stresses the need to ensure the availability of liquor in tourism destinations. "In MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Conventions and Events) tourism areas, availability of liquor cannot be avoided," the official statement said. According to sources, the majority of the new premium outlets proposed to be opened would come up in tourism destinations. Increasing the local production of liquor has been proposed in the liquor policy as domestic production cannot meet the consumption of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) or beer in the state.

Setting up more liquor production units will generate jobs, the policy states. Manufacture of low-alcohol liquor from locally produced fruits such as cashew, pineapple, jackfruit and banana will be encouraged. Brewery licenses will be sanctioned for eligible applicants as per existing rules.

ALSO READ | Brewing own fruit punch, Kerala aims high

According to the policy, liquor will not be sold in plastic bottles from 2023-24. To encourage the use of glass bottles and cans that can be recycled, the brand registration fees for alcohol sold in them will not be increased.

De-addiction initiatives
The liquor policy also lays stress on initiatives to promote abstinence and de-addiction. New de-addiction centres will be set up in all districts. Centres will be set up for the rehabilitation of people who have undergone treatment for alcohol addiction.

Vimukthi Mission will launch awareness campaigns with people's participation to promote abstinence. Anti-narcotics campaigns involving students in schools and colleges will be strengthened. 'Nerkkoottam' and 'Shraddha' committees set up in medical colleges to discourage the use of drugs and alcohol will be extended to all professional colleges, the policy states.



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