Bihar to ban country-made liquor first: Minister

Patna, Dec 18 (IANS) Bihar will first ban country-made liquor followed by Indian-made foreign liquor next year, Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan said on Friday.

“The government will first ban ‘desi’ liquor from April 1, 2016, and then ‘videshi’ (IMFL)) from September 2016,” Mastan told media persons here.

Earlier, the government planned to impose a total ban on all kinds of liquor from the next fiscal.

He said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was committed to imposing liquor ban in Bihar.

Mastan said government-owned Bihar State Beverage Corporation Ltd. will open IMFL shops as part of the new liquor policy, which will be implemented from April 1.

Nitish Kumar last month announced a ban on alcohol from April 1, as promised by him during campaigning for the 2015 Bihar assembly elections.

Mastan said the poorest of the poor were consuming liquor, leading to family problems, domestic violence and affecting their children’s education.

“Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption,” he said.

According to officials, the ban decision was expected to impact the state government’s financial health.

Bihar gets around Rs.3,650 crore in revenue from liquor sales annually.

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