Kerala appoints panel to draft liquor policy

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 22 (IANS) A panel headed by former Kerala High Court judge M. Ramachandran has been appointed by the Kerala government to work out a new liquor policy, an official in the excise department said Tuesday.

Speaking to IANS, the official said that one-man commission has been asked to submit a report in 45 days.

"He has been asked to formulate a new liquor policy and study if a re-look is required on the sanction that has been given to 418 bars," said the official.

The government had come out with guidelines that from this calendar year, new bar licences will be given only to four-star hotels and from the next calendar year only for five-star hotels.

Three-star hotels had opposed the guidelines and approach the Kerala High Court.

Churches in the state and activists seeking total prohibition are up in arms against the government as liquor consumption is believed to be going up in the state.

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