Bihar ban will be on all kinds of liquor: Minister

Patna, Dec 4 (IANS) Bihar would have a ‘total’ ban on all kinds of liquor starting April 1, 2016 and not just on country-made liquor as some reports had suggested earlier, Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan said on Friday.

“We will impose a liquor ban in Bihar. It will be for desi (country-made liquor), videsh (foreign-made liquor) or locally-made liquor,” Mastan said here, responding to some reports that said the measure would be limited to country-made liquor only.

There was no truth in those reports, Mastan said.

“We are yet to finalise the modalities for a liquor ban in the state. (But) It will be a total ban”.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said last month the government would ban the sale of alcohol starting April 1, 2016. The liquor ban was a key promise Nitish Kumar had made in his campaigning for the Bihar elections 2015.

Mastan said the poorest of the poor had been consuming liquor, destroying their families and their children’s education.

Increasing liquor consumption was also a major cause for domestic violence, particularly against women, and had contributed to a rise in crimes.

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

According to officials, the decision of the government to impose a ban is expected to adversely affect the government’s financial health.

The excise department went into an overdrive in 2007 following a new policy and started issuing licences for marketing liquor across the state.

In the year 2014-15, the government raked in Rs 3,650 crore in revenues, a growth of more than 10 times over Rs 319 crore recorded in 2005-06.

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