Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala's new liquor policy, which includes a proposal for serving liquor at select locations in IT parks, is likely to be announced this week.
Though a policy decision was taken last year to serve liquor at select locations in IT parks, no decision was taken on the various aspects of the policy, including management and fees.
After accepting the suggestions of the Information and Technology department, the Assembly Subject Committee discussed the matter. The earlier understanding was to introduce club fees for liquor outlets at IT parks. A cabinet meeting will decide on matters including fee relaxation.
Serving of alcohol will be permitted at select locations of major IT companies. Outsiders will not be allowed at these venues. The functioning of these outlets will be modelled on clubs. IT firms will be responsible for running these clubs.
The fee levied on bars is likely to be hiked in the new policy. According to reports, the licence fee for bars will be increased by Rs 5 lakh.
The dry day, when no sale or serving of alcohol is permitted, observed on the 1st of every month at present, will continue. Labour unions had opposed the move to eliminate the dry day. Since liquor sales often go up on the day before the dry day, the government does not lose much in terms of revenue.
Excise minister M B Rajesh told Manorama Online that the liquor policy had been drafted and readied to be taken up in the cabinet meeting soon. Authorities have indicated that no major changes were included in the new policy.
Usually, an extensive liquor policy is announced only during the first term of a new government. A new policy was announced on March 30, during the first year of the second Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government. Though it requires only a renewal of the policy by incorporating additional directions, the government decided to go for a comprehensive reform of the policy.