No country liquor from Apr, IMFL to be sold from govt shops

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Patna, Dec 18: The Nitish Kumar government today unveiled its strategy to enforce prohibition of alcohol in Bihar in phases as part of which there would be total ban on country liquor from April 1 next year.

However, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) would be available at limited government outlets. Initially there would be total ban on sale of country liquor from new financial year starting from April 1, 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said after a special cabinet meeting this evening.

Bihar: No country liquor from April

From that date onwards, limited shops run by government body Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited (BSBCL) will sell IMFL in municipal and town council areas.

Kumar said BSBCL, which runs under aegis of state Excise department, would take up the responsibility of retail sale of IMFL and would run outlets under strict guideline.

"Earlier BSBCL was involved only in wholesale trade of IMFL but from now it would take up direct responsibility of retail also," Kumar said. He said after BSBCL takes up the job of IMFL sale, almost 90 per cent of present liquor outlets would be shut down thus minimizing the ill effect of alcohol consumption in the state.

Read More: Bihar to ban country-made liquor first: Minister

The Chief Minister, who had called the special cabinet meeting to approve the new Excise Policy, said his government decided to go phase-wise in enforcing prohibition in Bihar to make it "more effective."

However, he did not say anything on when the IMFL would also come under prohibition. Reiterating his pre-poll commitment to women that if he returned to power his future government would ban alcohol, Kumar said he was not bothered about revenue loss on account of prohibition.

"The state is drawing around Rs 5000 crore from sale of liquor at present. I do not bother about losing revenue for a great social cause (banning liquor to save poor families getting ruined on this count)," he said. Excise Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan accompanied Kumar in the press conference.

PTI

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