Bihar Turns a Dry State With Complete Alcohol Ban
Our Political Bureau
Patna: Bihar has finally become a “dry state” from Tuesday. Nitish Kumar-headed Grand Alliance government has decided to completely ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, including India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) with immediate effect. The government has already banned the manufacturing, trade and consumption of country/ spiced liquor in the state from April 1. On November 19 last year, the government announced that it would enforce prohibition in phases. On Tuesday, the state Cabinet cleared the proposal for total ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state.“Bihar has become a dry state from today,” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced after the end of state cabinet meeting. His announcement came as a surprise as the state government had earlier tasked the Bihar State Beverage Corporation Limited (BSBCL) to own limited number of IMFL shops in the state. “A team of BSBCL had even toured Chennai to study the modalities of the shops which Tamil Nadu government owned State Marketing Corporation runs there. Bihar government was under plan to restrict the sale of IMFL in the areas falling under the Municipalities and Municipal Corporation,” a source in state government recalled. Sources added BSBCL had almost made all arrangements to open its IMFL shops in limited number.
With the decision to go for total prohibition, the state government would not issue any licenses for sale and consumption of liquor. The government has banned the sale of wholesale or retail of IMFL in Bihar. “With the announcement of total prohibition, there is ban on the sale and consumption of IMFL in big restaurants, hotels and clubs with immediate effect,” a press release, issued by the state government said. The order has made it clear that it would not affect the Army’s canteen. According to the release, anti-liquor campaign undertaken by the CM Nitish Kumar received a good response from the people across the state. Under the new Excise Policy, about 4900 persons were arrested recently. BSBCL has a stock of about 36000 seized IMFL and the government has authorized the excise department to dispose it. There would be no ban on manufacturing units of IMFL in Bihar. The ban is only on the sale of IMFL. The manufacturing units can make supply to other states by using digital lock and GPS system in the vehicles.
The order has made it clear that it would not affect the Army’s canteen