Kerala govt rejects proposal to sell liquor online

Kerala govt rejects proposal to sell liquor online

Kerala govt rejects proposal to sell liquor online

Two days after the state-owned Kerala State Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (Consumerfed) announced plans to sell liquor online from this Onam, the CPM-led state government appears to have shot down the proposal.

Consumerfed chairman

M Mehboob’s announcement on Thursday was seen as part of the state government’s agenda to bring in crucial changes to the liquor policy, which was implemented by the previous Congress-led government.

On Friday, Minister for Tourism and Cooperation A C Moideen clarified, through a press statement, that reports on Consumerfed’s plans to commence the online sale of liquor were baseless. “Neither the government nor Consumerfed has taken any decision to this effect,” the statement said.

There, however, was no official word on why the federation chairman announced the decision at a media interaction in Kozhikode without even conveying it to the ministry concerned. Mehboob could not be reached for his response.

The reported decision was slammed by the Opposition Congress and state unit of the BJP.
The Congress said the move was on expected lines since the CPM was favouring an overhaul of the liquor policy and was also trying to ensure that all bars outside of the five-star category that were shut down are reopened.

Moideen and Excise Minister T P Ramakrishnan have repeatedly questioned the intent and effectiveness of the liquor policy. Moideen has also suggested that Indian Made Foreign Liquor be served in bars in major tourist destinations.

After the Consumerfed chairman’s announcement, Ramakrishnan clarified that no proposal for the online sale of liquor was being considered by the government.

Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh had pointed out legal hurdles in implementing the online sale plan.

Mehboob had also announced that 59 brands would be introduced in Consumerfed’s retail outlets.

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