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Liquor sales to start in Kerala's IT parks this year; assembly panel okays Pinarayi govt's proposal

The government under the Pinarayi administration has introduced a policy allowing liquor sales within IT parks to attract foreign investment.  The Excise Minister proposed an amendment approved by the legislative committee, enabling IT park managers to sell liquor and potentially outsource management to experienced individuals.

Liquor sales to start in Kerala's IT parks this year; assembly panel okays Pinarayi govt's proposal anr
First Published May 23, 2024, 1:46 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The legislative committee of the Kerala Assembly has given a go-ahead to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's policy decision to allow the sale of liquor in the IT parks in the state.

The Pinarayi government's first policy decision was to permit liquor sales in IT parks, aiming to attract foreign companies. Despite significant controversy, the government proceeded with this initiative. During Pinarayi's second term, the Excise Minister introduced an amendment in the Legislative Assembly, which has now been approved by the legislative committee. Initially, the Excise Commissioner recommended that IT Park authorities manage liquor sales. However, the legislative committee amended this to allow park promoters to hold the license and outsource the management if needed. This amendment indirectly benefits bar owners, who initially opposed the decision, fearing reduced sales. 

The Opposition also raised objections, however the government clarified that the ultimate responsibility would remain with the promoter, even if management is outsourced.

FL 4C license will be issued in IT parks. The proposed activity will operate on a club model within the IT parks, with company employees becoming members. The license fee for this initiative is set at Rs 20 lakhs, and the bars will operate from 11 am to 11 pm. Once approved by the assembly committee, the notification will be issued following the withdrawal of the election code of conduct. Licenses will be granted promptly upon receiving applications.


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