Trivandrum: GTech, the Group of Technology Companies in Kerala and the Kerala Travel Mart Society, a conglomeration of various stakeholders in the Tourism industry in Kerala, are among the industry bodies that have come out against the proposed liquor prohibition in the State. They have also said that the prohibition will adversely impact the IT industry, among others.
A representation by GTech to Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy and the Minister for Industries & IT, Shri P K Kunhalikutty, states, “We, the industry organizations firmly believe that the proposed plan for total prohibition will adversely impact the growth and development of IT industry in the state. The decision will send out a wrong signal to the world that Kerala is a grossly under developed state and therefore we have to resort to enforcements than educating people to follow the right lifestyles. In a democracy, lifestyle changes are best brought about and sustained by education and encouragement and not by enforcement.”
According to Alexander Varghese, Vice – Chairman of GTech, “No IT company of consequence will plan to set up their facilities in a State which has such archaic regulations. The impact will be equally severe in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Corporate conferences, which are a major source of revenue for the hospitality and tourism sector, will be very badly impacted if we follow the route of prohibition.”
The Kerala Travel Mart has also expressed grave concern over the State government’s new liquor policy, saying it would hit the travel, tourism and IT sectors hard.
Johny Abraham George, President of Kerala Travel Mart said, “The closure of bars and liquor vends would force many travel, tourism, hotel and IT establishments to wind up. The government invited entrepreneurs and companies to invest in the State with many promises. A unilateral ban on liquor without consulting anyone from these sectors will have serious repercussions.”
According to Shashi Tharoor MP, IT companies contemplating moving to the clean, green, tech-friendly environment available in Kerala, say the fact that their employees might not easily be able to enjoy a drink after work has given them a pause.
“Our proposition is that we can go for a pragmatic approach of ‘partial prohibition’ by limiting the opening hours of all public bars including the ones in 5-star hotels from 5 pm to midnight on all days, thus reducing the availability and consumption drastically. We hope the Government will consider our recommendation and take the right decision for the industry and the State”, the GTech representation adds.
Kerala IT News