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Tharoor slams Kerala government's decision to ban alcohol, says it will hit revenue, tourism


Tharoor slams Kerala government's decision to ban alcohol, says it will hit revenue, tourism
New Delhi: The Kerala government continues to face criticism over its decision to ban alcohol in the state. Congress MP from Kerala Shashi Tharoor has said that the decision will hit revenue and tourism in the state.
 
Tharoor said, "It is a widely popular decision, but there are issues with which people have not yet grappled. One is the colossal hit that will be taken by the revenue as 22 per cent comes from alcohol excise. As a result, Kerala will have to cut on its social services which have given it a high social development standing in India."
 
He added that there has been a political competition to prove that one was much holier than the other. "There is a bit of political competition to show one is holier than thou but I don't think everything was fully thought through."

He pointed out that the experiment to ban alcohol has worked in Gujarat and Manipur, but has failed in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and US. "We need to ask ourselves what made it succeed or fail in some places. The Tamil Nadu government has declared that they'll open TASMAC (liquor shops) outlets along Kerala-Tamil Nadu border to cater to the thirsty Kerala consumers, so Kerala will not drink less but the excise duty will go to Tamil Nadu instead."

On 27 August, the Kerala cabinet ratified the new liquor policy of the Congress-led UDF government which envisaged to shut down bars attached to hotels below the five-star category as part of its plans to reduce availability of liquor.
 
The cabinet, however deferred a decision on issues related to licences to beer and wine parlours and elite clubs that serve liquor.