Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has proposed to issue more brewery licences in view of the shortage of beer in the State. The new liquor policy has also spelt out a slew of proposals, including a hike in licence fees.
As per the existing rules, brewery licences are issued only to eligible persons under the current policy. At present, there are beer manufacturing centres only in Chalakudy, Kanjikode and Cherthala.
Other major proposals
The bar licences issued to hotels, starting from three-star classification, will continue.
In order to encourage the use of glass bottles and cans, the government has decided not to hike the registration fee for liquor sold in glass bottles and cans.
An amnesty scheme (one-time settlement scheme) will be implemented by giving full exemption in interest and relaxations in principal amount for collecting abkari dues.
The Toddy Tapping Industrial Development Board will be made fully functional from next year. Track and trade system will be put in place for monitoring the toddy production and inter-district and inter-range movement of toddy.
The liquor policy also states the Kerala State Beverages Corporation will start industries and other businesses associated with liquor manufacturing.
The various fees, fines set to be increased
- The fees for manufacturing liquor in distilleries in Kerala, foreign liquor (blending and bottling) units and for manufacturing liquor with the cooperation of similar establishments outside the State, will be increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
- The fine charged as per the Foreign Liquor Rule 34 will be increased from the existing Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000 to Rs 30,000 and Rs 1 lakh respectively.
- The fee for setting up a service desk with bar licence has been increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. For additional bar counters, the hike proposed is Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000.
- The fee for registering own brands of distilleries in Kerala has been raised from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
- The brand registration fee for distilleries from other states that manufacture their liquor in Kerala has been raised from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh.
- The licence fee for the Covid period, during which bars, beer parlours and clubs had to halt operations following government orders, will be deducted in next year’s licence fee.