Thiruvananthapuram, March 01 : The CPI(M) state secretariat that met here on Wednesday has reportedly decided to re-open bar hotels of four star classification in tourist destinations with a view to give a fillip to the tourism industry.
According to reports in the visual media, the CPI(M) state secretariat proposed re-opening of bars in 35 four-star hotels located in prime tourist spots with the purported aim of undoing the alleged slump in the tourism sector caused by the previous UDF government’s liquor policy.
The CPI(M) has also decided to do away with the UDF govt.’s decision to shut down 10 per cent of state-owned retail liquor outlets annually.
The other important proposals formulated at the secretariat meet include bringing down the license fee for booze parties, promotion of toddy shops, and extension of working hours of bar hotels.
The party secretariat meet is reported to have come to the conclusion that the curbs on liquor consumption have badly affected the tourism sector, which in turn has levied a heavy toll on the state’s economy.
The meet also surmised that ills such as substance abuse and consumption of bootlegged liquor were on the rise owing to the curbs on liquor.
The CPI(M) would convene a special LDF meet to hold discussions on these proposals with their coalition partners before giving shape to the government’s liquor policy.
The LDF in its election manifesto had said that it would formulate a new liquor policy if it came to power.
The CPI(M) has been hugely critical of the UDF’s liquor policy of phased prohibition of alcohol from the very outset, calling it impractical.
Even though in the run up to the elections, the CPI(M) had shied away from laying out the parameters of its proposed liquor policy, it has all along maintained that it believed in a policy of abstinence and not prohibition.
The opposition UDF would certainly claim that the CPI(M) state secretariat’s proposals vindicated their charge against the LDF during the election campaign that bars would be re-opened if the LDF came to power.