Staff Reporter

Incentives offered by hotels in violation of law

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Certain bar hotels in the district are learnt to be promoting the consumption of alcohol this Christmas-New Year season by offering incentives such as a peg measure free for every two pegs consumed. The law does not sanction such enticements on the ground that it encourages drinking.

Hoardings that indirectly promote Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) products have come up near several bar hotels. The law prevents the promotion of alcohol consumption through direct advertisement of liquor products. To circumvent law, liquor manufacturers often lend the name of their popular brands to products such as apple juice, T-shirts, mineral water, soda and cut glassware. These products are rarely available in the market.

The Excise Department had a few years ago removed several such surrogate advertisement hoardings promoting IMFL brands. It had also booked a few liquor companies on the charge of violating prohibition norms by advertising their products in a surrogate manner.

The State has the highest per capita consumption of liquor in the country. The sale of liquor normally peaks during the Onam and Christmas-New Year season.