The Kerala government today decided to raise the age limit for consumption of liquor from the existing 21 years to 23 years. A decision to promulgate an ordinance to make necessary amendments in the Abkari Act in this regard was taken at a cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here. A recommendation would be made to the Governor, Justice P Sathasivam, to issue the ordinance, an official release said. The cabinet also decided to enlarge the powers of the State Women’s Commission by making necessary changes in the relevant law, the release said. It gave approval to a draft bill for the changes.
The amendment envisages giving power to the Commission to summon any individual for taking a statement in connection with the hearing of a complaint. At present, the Commission has only the power to summon witnesses and ensure their presence during the hearing, the release said. On other cabinet decisions, the release said approval was accorded to set up 20 small Hydro electric power projects in the private sector under the Built Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis.
The projects were sanctioned as per the Small Hydro Power project policy of 2012. The sanction would be for a period of 30 years from the date of signing agreement with the government. The state regulatory commission would fix the power tariff as and when the projects start operation, the release said.