Bi­har Turns a Dry State With Com­plete Al­co­hol Ban

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

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

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