If you dropped Kerala from your holiday plan, just because you heard the 'God's own country' is a dry zone, you made a mistake. And the state Tourism Minister would like to inform you all that the beautiful tropical destination is wet still.  

 

 "The liquor policy of the UDF govt. created a wrong perception among the general public outside the state that Kerala is a prohibition zone," Minister AC Moideen told Asianet News. 

 

The tourism sector was most affected by the liquor policy. Many conferences were cancelled and foreign tourists dropped Kerala from their travel plans as they thought they would be left parched in the state. "I have no qualms in admitting that the liquor policy badly affected the tourism sector. And I stand for a change in the policy," the minister said.    

 

"We need a change in the policy. At least, the tourism destinations in the state should be exempted from the purview of the policy," Moideen said. The minister also stated that he would push for a policy change when the matter comes up for discussion in the cabinet.  

 

Two years back, the previous UDF government in the state adopted a liquor policy that envisaged complete prohibition in the state within ten years in a phased manner. As a first step towards it, the government closed down all the liquor bars except the five-star category bar hotels. Though the bars in other categories were allowed to function, and to supply wine and beer, the restrictions on Indian Made Foreign Liquor remained. It raised a political storm in the state and was a major poll debate during the Assembly elections this May.     

 

After coming to power, the Left government in Kerala had hinted that it would review the liquor policy