Thiruvananthapuram: The state government's decision to allow retail liquor sale through bar counters is expected to rob state exchequer heavily, experts have pointed out.
At present, retail liquor sale is permitted only through the 265 Beverages Corporation (Bevco) outlets and 35 Consumerfed shops.
The government is planning to promulgate an ordinance to change the Kerala Abkari Act that will eventually permit retail liquor sale through bar counters after the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
This decision will help bar owners earn huge amount of money that would have otherwise gone to the government coffers, experts have pointed out.
Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has already alleged corruption in the government decision.
The coalition leaders have alleged that the decision will benefit only bar owners and drain state exchequer.
The government had earned Rs 12,400 crore in the 2018-19 fiscal through liquor sale.
The retail outlets used to sell liquor worth Rs 40 crore every day.
With the decision, this amount will get divided among bars, wine parlours and retail outlets when they begin sale after lockdown.
The state has 994 bars and wine parlours put together, three times more than 300 retail outlets. Quite naturally, people are expected to depend on the former for buying liquor.