New Delhi: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Government of Kerala to review its decision to lift the ban on sale and serving of liquor in the State and in its hotels and restaurants as the mandatory regulation on liquor sale will encourage its illicit sale and consumption in the parallel market which is difficult to be prohibited even with the best of monitoring from state machinery.
The ban on alcohol will largely adversely affect the tourism both domestic and foreign as 15% of foreign tourists coming to India every year make it a point to visit Kerala, in addition to loosing its revenues in terms of excise collection and host of other state and local taxes.
In a statement issued here today, the Executive Director of PHD Chamber Saurabh Sanyal said that liquor consumption can best be discouraged by way of launching anti consumption campaigns through all channels of media, raising in them advertisements with warning that its excessive consumption is bad for health.
Imposing a blanket ban on sale of alcohol in the State will result loosing thousands of crores of annual revenue, which primarily comes from tourism sector. Sanyal reminded the State government that a few years ago, the government of Haryana also attempted to impose ban on alcohol and its circulation but failed as the sale of illicit liquor rose in the parallel markets and large number of users chose not to return homes in the evening and preferred to buy alcohol in the adjoining state of Punjab and Delhi.
This created a social problem and finally the administration had to revoke the ban on alcohol sale and its consumption following request from those groups of individuals that earlier sought a blanket ban on alcohol.
Therefore, it is in the interest of the State of Kerala to take into account various suggestions being forwarded to its government to let the sale of alcohol continue in the State and discourage it by way of measures such as moderate increase in excise duty and levies such as value added tax and like others