The Kerala state government has decided to amend the Kerala spirituous preparations (control) rules, 1969, to liberalize licences for the sale of ayurveda medicines containing alcohol.
This is for the first time that the rules are being amended. Under the present rules, a licenced practitioner is permitted to sell the medicines at a centre only. As per the proposed amendments a registered Ayurvedic practitioner will only be provided five licences in his own home district and the neighbouring districts, which means that he can start only five clinics or retail shops for selling arishtams and similar products.
The maximum quantity of “arishtam” containing alcohol that can be stored by ayurveda practitioners at a time has been raised from the existing five litres to 100 litres. The list includes Dasamoolarishtam, Jeerakishtam, Abhayaarishtam, Amruthaarishtam, Balaarishtam, Asokaarishtam, Lokaasavam, Punarnavaasavam, Aswagandhaarishtam, Musthaarishtam, Daakshaarishtam, Pippiliaasavam, Sudarsanaarishtam, Kumaraasavam, Chandanaasavam, Vasarishtam and Kanakasavam. The arishtams and aasavams should only be sold in sealed bottles.
To address the shortage of pharmacists qualified to sell ayurveda medicines in retail stores, the new rules say the government will issue licences for those working in licensed pharmacies for over five years and aged above 20, after a written examination and an interview by the competent body, to sell them. The non-transferable licence will be issued to only one person in an outlet. The new rules stipulate that those violating them can be persecuted under bailable sections along with a fine ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000.