Thiruvananthapuram: Opinion of all sections of society would be taken into account before formulating Kerala government's new liquor policy, Governor Justice (Rtd) P Sathasivam said on Friday.
In his policy address in the Assembly, the Governor said the government was of the view that restrictions on consumption of liquor had not yielded the desired positive impact.
"The increase in the use and availability of drugs in the state is disturbing. The opinion of all sections of society would be taken into account before my government formulates its policy stand," he said.
The announcement assumes significance as the ruling LDF has been favouring abstinence rather than total prohibition, which was the policy of Congress-led UDF opposition.
The Congress-led UDF government's liquor policy, which came into force in 2014, had restricted Indian Made Foreign Liquor bars to Five Star category hotels and shut down more than 700 other bars while envisaging total prohibition in 10 years. However, the LDF had said that it was not in favour of total prohibition and pitched for reducing consumption of liquor in phases.
The Governor said seeking to strengthen the awareness of alcohol abstinence and anti-narcotic activities, the government would constitute an awareness mission, which would coordinate the work of various agencies including Student Police and Kudumbashree, a women-oriented community-based project of the state government, in this regard.
A detailed study would also be conducted on the social, economic and health problems, arising from the consumption of liquor and widespread availability of substances. A state-of-the-art laboratory to combat substance abuse, de-addiction centres in all districts are other plans in this regard, the Governor said.