"We will introduce prohibition in a phased manner," said Chandy while addressing a public meeting here.

"No new bar license will be issued... I want to make it clear that we are prepared to forego the income that is generated through the sale of liquor," he added.

In the last fiscal, the sale of liquor and beer crossed Rs 9,300 crore and taxes that accrued to the state government were close to Rs7,500 crore.

The state received close to Rs 200 crore through renewal of license fees of bars and also from clubs where liquor is served.

"We are prepared to forego the taxes received through sales of liquor because we all know the damage that liquor does to the society. It is several times more than what we receive," he said.

"To implement prohibition, the first step is to see that the availability of liquor is brought down and an awareness campaign against liquor is run," Chandy added.

In Kerala, liquor is sold in 752 bars, hotels and 383 state-owned retail outlets. No new retail outlets have been sanctioned after the Chandy government came to power in May 2011.


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