You should be 23 to buy liquor in Kerala

The cabinet has also given nod for the proviso that those who sell liquor to under-age consumers should be punished.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to raise the minimum age for consumption of liquor in the state to 23 from 21.

The state cabinet on Wednesday decided to bring in an ordinance in this regard. The ruling LDF, in its liquor policy, had announced that the minimum age for liquor consumption will be raised. The policy was approved by the LDF on June 8.

The cabinet has also given nod for the proviso that those who sell liquor to under-age consumers should be punished. The Kerala abkari Act and foreign liquor rule need to be amended to raise the age limit as proposed. The government will present a special bill for this during the next assembly session.

Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Sikkim, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are among the largest consumers of alcohol in India. Kerala's own tax revenue for a year has been estimated at Rs 40,000 crore and 25% of this is coming from liquor sales.

Other key decisions

» Laws to be amended to enable the state women's commission to summon any individual for recording their statement as part of settling disputes.

» Private entrepreneurs to be given sanction to implement 20 small-scale hydel electric project in the state on boot basis.

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