Kerala mulls Bevco-like booze sale at bars

Kerala mulls Bevco-like booze sale at bars
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is toying with the idea of selling booze through bars with a rider –- only booze bottles would be available and the peg system will be shunned.

Currently, the bars have permission to sell liquor in limited quantities, known as a peg system.

This means you can opt to buy a single peg, but if the proposal mulled now by the government is implemented this process would be shelled and only bottles would be sold.

The proposal, which would be akin to bars functioning like Beverages Corporation (Bevco) and Consumerfed outlets, is aimed to facilitate sales even if lockdown restrictions imposed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak continue.

The government has directed the excise department to figure out necessary amendments.

As of now full bottles cannot be sold or taken out. The licensees have to pay a fine of up to Rs 25,000 for this offence.

The bar owners have been demanding to amend this rule and give permission to become wholesalers and the beverages corporation can earn a profit of 20 per cent in such sales.

The amendment will also ensure that bar owners too can earn profits. Details of sales procedures have to be worked out.

The government had recently given licences to start six new bars in the state, taking the total number of bars in the state to 600.

The state has 267 Bevco and 39 Consumerfed outlets.

Kerala earned more than 14,000 crore in 2018-19 from sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor and beer.

Kerala also counts on overseas remittances, which is likely to register a sharp fall this year in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

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