Bihar to impose prohibition from April 2016

Updated - April 01, 2016 02:57 pm IST

Published - November 26, 2015 02:47 pm IST - Patna

“Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said. File photo

“Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said. File photo

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said a ban on the sale and consumption of liquor would be imposed in Bihar from the next fiscal year, beginning April 1, 2016.

During the campaign for the Assembly polls, he had promised that if he returned to power, the government would impose a ban on alcohol. The consumption of liquor was causing a dent in the income of the poor and affecting the education of their children, he said.

“My government is bound to fulfil its promise. I have directed my officials to begin work for the formulation of the new policy which will come into effect from April 1, 2016,” Mr. Kumar said, addressing an official function here to mark Prohibition Day.

He said increasing liquor consumption had been a major cause of domestic violence, particularly against women, and had contributed to a rise in crimes. “It affects women more, education of their children and creates strife in the family,” the Chief Minister said.

“Though the government was generating a sizeable amount of revenue from the excise department, we will now find ways to make up for the possible Rs.4,000-crore loss from this department,” he said.

Mr. Kumar had faced demonstrations by women complaining of increasing consumption of liquor by men in villages and how it was ruining their families and society. Significantly, women voters outnumbered men in the recent Assembly elections.

Mr. Kumar had thanked women voters for coming out in large numbers to cast their vote.

Meanwhile, critics said the decision would derail the government’s budget. In 2007, to increase the revenue collection, the then Nitish Kumar government had formulated a new policy which had eventually brought about a 10-fold jump in the revenue collection by the excise department, from Rs.319 crore in 2005-06 to a whopping Rs.3,650 crore in 2014-15.

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