Brewers, sellers urge Bihar govt to lift liquor ban on Manipur lines, minister says no
premium alcohol on display

Patna (Agency): The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), the representative body of leading Indian alcohol beverage companies, has once again urged the Bihar government to lift the total ban on liquor in the state, on the lines of Manipur government’s decision.

In 2021 too, the CIABC had written to the Bihar government and leaders from all constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state to end prohibition in the state.

“By ending over three-decade long prohibition, the Manipur government has taken a positive step forward which would not only earn ₹600-700 crore as annual tax revenues, but also help tackle the menace of sale of illegal liquor and spread of drugs. It is going to give a major fillip to the state’s economic growth.” CIABC director general Vinod Giri said in a statement on Wednesday.

He said that the Bihar government should also follow suit and lift prohibition, “which has crippled the growth and development of the state and led to so many deaths due to hooch tragedies”.

Bihar’s prohibition and excise minister Sunil Kumar, however, said that prohibition was a policy decision of the state government after being unanimously passed by both Houses of the state legislature and there was no chance of it being withdrawn.

“The government, with the support of all parties, implemented the ban with the larger objective of social welfare despite being aware of losing on revenue and the feedback has been positive. The surveys have shown how it has improved quality of life and restored family bliss among the poor families. I have not seen the letter yet, as I am in my constituency, but lifting prohibition does not seem probable,” he said.

Manipur, a dry state since 1991, had partially lifted prohibition a year ago. On Wednesday, it ended the ban completely.

Bihar imposed total prohibition in 2016 and since then it has relaxed rules several times, but smuggling of liquor and manufacture of spurious liquor have been rampant. (Courtesy: Hindustan Times)