No pubs, only clubs to be allowed in Kerala's IT sector; brewery opening issues change govt's mind

Representative image. Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

Thiruvananthapuram: Keeping in view of the controversies and practical difficulties involved in opening more breweries in the State, the state government has decided to start clubs instead of pubs in the IT parks.

The only brewery functioning in Kerala is United Breweries situated in Palakkad. They fill up the beer bottles before sales. But in pubs, the beer is supplied in big cans as per the requirement of the customer.

Such types of beer can be stored only for two days. So, bringing new stock of beer every and now from outside the State is not feasible. Only if more breweries are opened in the State, the idea of starting pubs in the IT sector can be effectively implemented.

The guidelines for getting FL13 license for running a brewery have been already incorporated in the Excise rules. But the State Government is reluctant to give permission for granting such a license in view of the controversies that may arise due to opening of more breweries.

Keeping all these things in mind, the government has veered round to the view that it is better to grant club licenses in the IT sector with a slew of relaxations. The government is planning to incorporate this in the new liquor policy.

New liquor policy

The new liquor policy will suggest reforms which will give a new look to the toddy shops' sector. The distance limit for setting up new toddy shops will be reduced. More emphasis will be given on offering a variety of food in toddy shops.

Since there is one more year as the auction period of the existing toddy shops, the reforms will be implemented in the next year. The Toddy Board will come into existence by then.

Though the bar owners are demanding the scrapping of the monthly dry day, the government is not likely to yield in view of the stiff opposition to the proposal by the bar employees.

Since the framing of the new liquor policy is a political decision, it is likely to be approved only by mid-March, well after the culmination of the CPM State conference.

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