The prohibition policy in Kerala was in place barely for months before the government backtracked on it under pressure from the liquor and tourism lobbies

Kerala Allows Liquor on Sundays; Rest To Follow?77104746 mohanlal mail size NO DRY SUNDAYS FOR KERALA

  1. Much has been written, discussed and analysed about prohibition in Kerala. The debate on the pros and cons of prohibition in general and the impact of its implementation in a state such as Kerala has been vehement in recent times.
  2. Those that support prohibition say that it helps lower instances of domestic abuse and the frittering away of precious resources over a non essential commodity. Those against prohibition make the argument that prohibition only serves to increase illegal activities such as bootlegging and that in Kerala in particular; such a policy would negatively impact tourism. The argument against the policy also points to the number of people who would lose their jobs as a result of prohibition.
  3. The prohibition policy was put in place by the state about 3 months ago in order to help control and lower rates of alcoholism in the state that has the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita liquor consumption in the country (more than twice the national average).
  4. kerala prohibition NO DRY SUNDAYS FOR KERALAThe policy of prohibition in Kerala was to be implemented in a phased manner, which envisaged a completely dry state within one decade. Under this policy, the licences of 418 bars would not renewed, bars and Bevco outlets would remain shut on Sundays and the first day of every month (presumably so that a newly received pay check would not be squandered on liquor). 5 Star hotels were permitted to continue serving alcohol however. (Source – Times)
  5. Now however, the prohibition policy seems set to be diluted by the government in response to pressure from the liquor lobby and tourism sector. Sundays will no longer be dry and wine and beer licences will be given to the 418 bars that have been closed April this year.
  6. According to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy there practical reasons for this: “We have to consider tourism industry’s demand and pleas of hotel and bar workers who were rendered jobless.” (Source – HT)
  7. Not to quibble, but did those reasons not exist when people were crying themselves hoarse in opposition to the prohibition policy? Did the government have to wait for pressure to be exerted by lobbies before lamely backtracking? Or was there a fiscal reason for this? After all, the state exchequer does stand to lose about 8,000 crores in revenue annually as a result of prohibition.

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