Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that a decision on renewal of licences of non-standard liquor bars would be taken soon through discussions.

Replying to questions at his weekly Cabinet briefing, he said the legal and practical implications of the issue needed to be discussed with all parties in the United Democratic Front. A consensus on the issue would emerge.

Asked whether the issue would be referred to the Congress high command, the Chief Minister said that it could be resolved here itself.

‘Reduce craving first’

Mr. Chandy said that he was not of the view that revenues from levy on liquor were coming in the way of introducing prohibition. The impediments to prohibition were other issues. It was dangerous to go for prohibition without reducing the craving for liquor. The government had been trying to create awareness and reduce the availability of liquor. No new outlet of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation was being permitted unless as a substitute for a closed outlet. Decisions were taken in the first year of his government against permitting bars in three-star hotels and later in four-star hotels.

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