One-man commission soon

The State government will name within a couple of days the person who will function as the single-member commission to study the scope for changes in the liquor policy, Excise Minister K. Babu has said.

Talking to presspersons here on Thursday, he said the government would urge the commission to submit its report within one-and-a-half months so that its recommendations could be appropriately incorporated in the revised excise policy proposed to be announced before the start of next financial year.

Court verdicts

Mr. Babu said court verdicts had made it difficult for the government to implement the policy it had announced soon after coming to office. The policy was not to give bar licences to new three-star hotels, but it had given rise to court cases and the High Court of Kerala had ruled in favour of the appellants. The government moved the Supreme Court, but could not get the High Court verdict stayed.

He said that when this knotty situation was discussed at the level of the Advocate General and senior Supreme Court advocates, their suggestion was to appoint a commission to study the whole situation and suggest ways to modify the excise policy in tune with the United Democratic Front’s policy of discouraging the sale and consumption of alcohol.

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