THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Government has directed Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh to study on proposals by four hotels seeking permission to start breweries and 24-hour pubs, like in metros. Mr Singh will report on the feasibility of such units and examine whether they conform to the State excise policy.
It has to be noted that the Left government has been trying to bring in the pub culture in Kerala whenever they were in power. But due to technical reasons, it did not work out favourably. Currently, two restaurants under Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association, a seven star hotel and a five star hotel in Kochi have sought licenses to start micro breweries and 24 hour pubs before excise minister T. P. Ramakrishnan.
He sought the intervention of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Government was keen to have a stand on it which would reap in benefits for the excise and tourism sectors.
Accordingly, the Government decided to send Rishiraj Singh to Bengaluru which is synonymous for pub culture. He told DC that he would be soon leaving for Bengaluru to do a feasibility study on the proposal to have micro breweries and pub culture in the State.
“A four member delegation comprising revenue, agriculture, excise and another government official will soon be leaving for Bengaluru. This proposal has been before the State Government for quite some time. But right now it is at the preliminary level”, said Rishiraj Singh.
But if the LDF government decides to implement the controversial proposal, then the existing excise policy would have to be amended. The initial proposal before the excise department is that beer would be made available 24*7 in four flavours – pineapple, orange, grape and apple.
Excise department officials feel that if the practice in metropolitan cities are replicated in Kerala, it would open new avenues for the youth in the employment sector and also alleviate the fears experienced by the bar employees when liquor ban was enforced....