Liquor Ban – Bihar is the New Joiner

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After Bihar Assembly unanimously passed the landmark bill that bans sale of country and spiced liquor in the state, Bihar has joined the small list of states in India that practise complete or partial ban on liquor.

The members of Bihar Legislative Assembly have also vowed not to consume alcohol after passing the Bill. The liquor ban will come into force from tomorrow the 1st of April 2016. Liquor ban was part of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's poll promise.

bihar

Bihar will have a partial ban and it will not cover the sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMLF). IMFL will be available in 656 shops within city areas but not in the rural areas.

Bihar had 6,000 liquor outlets in the state before the partial ban on sale of liquor was proposed. Bihar had earned last financial year Rs. 4,000 crore from liquor sale. Thanks to the ban on country and spiced liquor Bihar will now lose around Rs. 2,000 crore of revenue.

Nitish Kumar was quoted to say that, "There could be a total ban on liquor in the next one year. We are doing it for a social cause and to save millions of households where women are subjected to domestic violence and family disintegration, besides facing social and health costs."

While the bill was passed all MLA including CM, Speaker and Leader of Opposition rose from their seats and vowed not to drink ever and that they will discourage other from drinking alcohol too. However, Deputy CM of the state Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav were not present in the House. Both are sons of former CM of the state Lalu Prasad Yadav.

The Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016 was first introduced in 2015 and was amended so as to provide for very strict punishments including death sentence for makers and sellers of country liquor in the event of a hooch tragedy. Apart from Bihar now Gujarat has such a strict law in place.

Bihar will introduce Phase 2 of liquor ban after six months which would bring in total prohibition alike Gujarat in Bihar too.

For those who will lose the means of livelihood once the country and spiced liquor shops close down Bihar Government has approached them with the suggestion to sell Bihar State Milk Cooperative Federation Ltd. under the brand name "Sudha Dairy". Prohibition in few other Indian states:

Gujarat:

Gujarat has a sumptuary law that makes it illegal the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcohol in the state. Foreign tourists and Non-Resident Indians are allowed to get a 30 day permit to consume alcohol in the state after submitting identity proof.

The law is in practise in Gujarat since it was formed on the 1st of May 1960 after Bombay State was dissolved to form Maharashtra and Gujarat from it.

Kerala:

Since August 2014 Kerala has been introducing ban on liquor in phased manner. In Kerala the liquor shops have to renew the licence each year. By 31st March 2014 the Kerala government did not renew licences of 418 bars which were closed down. Next year another 313 bars were shut down. 10 percent Kerala state run liquor shop will be closed at the end of each year.

Liquor will continue to be sold in the five-star hotels in the state. Also toddy shops will operate as they have been operating.

Lakshadweep:

The Union Territory observes complete ban on sale and consumption of liquor. Liquor is only sold and consumed at Bangaram Island Resort's Bar. This island is uninhabited island.

Manipur:

Prohibition is enforced in the Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts of the state. The present government is considering the option of lifting prohibition in the state.

Nagaland:

Nagaland has banned sale and consumption of liquor in the state since 1989. However, the enforcement is not strict. Alcohol is smuggled from Assam and there are numerous illegal liquor bars in Dimapur, largest city of Nagaland.

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