A day before a total ban on the sale and consumption of country-made liquor across Bihar, vendors and outlets offered a huge discount to exhaust their stocks while guzzlers were seen rushing to the shops to replenish their stocks at home.
The Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the new Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the legislators pledged to stay away from liquor.
“Yes, for the first time we’ve offered such a huge discount to exhaust our stock as from Friday these bottles will be of no use,” said Harendra Singh, a liquor vendor of Patna.
At Mr. Singh’s outlet, price tags, much lower than the original cost, were pasted on different bottles with a display board declaring a “heavy discount.”Consumers could be seen rushing to the outlet counter. “It has never been so cheap…the bottles I usually buy for Rs. 350 are selling at Rs. 200 and Rs. 150 … it’s time to stock up”, Rajesh Kumar, a businessman, told The Hindu . In some slum areas of Patna, vendors were seen selling pouches of country-made liquor in a bucket.
Consumers, mostly poor people, were buying in bulk.From Friday, in cities and towns of the State, only Indian Made Foreign Liquor will be sold through 656 CCTV-fitted outlets run by the State Beverages Corporation Limited. No private units will be allowed to sell liquor even in urban areas.
The Patna administration on Thursday destroyed over three lakh bottles of country-made liquor worth Rs. 3 crore in Danapur and women took out a ‘funeral procession’ of liquor bottles and set them on fire at the Kargil chowk of Patna.