THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though a decrease has been witnessed in the sale of foreign liquor following government’s new liquor policy, an increase has been seen in the sale of beer and wine, said KPCC chief V M Sudheeran. It is because of the license issued to new 730 beer-wine parlours. A deep study on all sides of it should be conducted under Subodham, he said while talking at the international conference on effective strategies for prevention of alcohol and substance abuse at the Mascot Hotel.
At a time the World Health Organization is aiming a 10% decrease in liquor consumption in the next ten years, Kerala has achieved a 24.92 % decrease in the sale of foreign liquor during the past 18 months. When K Karunakaran was the chief minister in 1983, he entrusted A P Udayabhanu Commission to study on a complete liquor ban. The UDF Governments which came later took steps to reduce liquor consumption. The government has the right to take such decisions beneficial for the society. The government’s decision shocked the liquor mafias in the national and state levels. Some claimed that the tourism sector would be affected by the ban. Tourists reach the state to enjoy the natural beauty of Kerala and not to drink, he said.
T N Seema MP said the liquor policy of the government was a hasty political decision. No scientific studies or discussions were conducted before taking the decision. Changes should be made in the liquor policy. A complex liquor ban is not practical. When arrack was banned in 1996, illicit liquor and spirit from other states flowed to the state, she said.