Kerala tourism body seeks legal redress of new liquor policy

Legal redress for new liquor policy
Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 16: Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), a society of tourism stakeholders has planned to seek legal redress of the state's recently announced liquor policy that envisages total prohibition in the next 10 years, an official said Tuesday.

The members would discuss the issue of seeking legal redress of the new policy, KTM president Abraham George said addressing reporters here.

"The KTM eighth edition will begin in Kochi tomorrow (Wednesday). All the tourism stakeholders will be present on the occasion and would discuss the matter (new liquor policy)," George said.

The Kerala government has come up with its new liquor policy last month. It has decided to achieve prohibition in a phased manner by Oct 2, 2023.

All the 710 bars in Kerala was asked to remain close Sep 11. But a petition was filed against it in the Supreme Court, which put a stay over the directive till Sep 30 and asked the Kerala High Court to look into the matter.

KTM former president E.M. Najeeb said he agreed with what state Congress president V.M. Sudheeran said Monday that foreign tourists do not visit Kerala to consume liquor.

"Tourists come in Kerala to relax and enjoy. We wish the state government to invite the tourism stakeholders for a discussion over the issue. The tourism industry brings in over Rs.5,500 crore as foreign exchange," he said.

"As Sundays will be dry days, it is going to affect us (stakeholders). Some of the companies have already decided to cancel their meetings on account of the new policy. We want a reasonable and practical approach to deal with the issue," said Najeeb.

Kerala Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said he has already discussed the concerns of the tourism industry before the state cabinet and expects to get a positive response.

"But, the policy of the Congress government over the years has been to achieve prohibition in a phased manner, so this policy has not surfaced overnight," Anil Kumar said.


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