Prohibition In Bihar Has Caused No Deficit
BUSINESS ECONOMICS|August 16 - 31, 2018

Bihar has banned the consumption and sale of alcohol. This is noteworthy because the state has banned alcohol at a time when many other states earn a sizeable revenue from excise out of the sale of alcohol. In an exclusive interview with BE’s Kishore Kumar Biswas, Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Minister in Charge, Power, Excise, State Government of Bihar, spoke about the success of banning alcohol and the challenges the government faced.

Q. Why did you take such a seemingly unpopular decision like banning the consumption and sale of alcohol in Bihar?

A. Please remember the end of 2014 when our Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar addressed a gathering where a lot of women were present. In that meeting the women requested him to ban the consumption of alcohol in the state. Alcoholism had been causing harm to the rural poor. In a large number of families, a lot of money is diverted from livelihood needs to alcohol. The drunken members also destroy family lives in different ways. You know that a large number of people in Bihar live below the poverty line (BPL). Nitish Kumarji decided if the party would win the state election, alcohol consumption and sale would be banned in the state. We did this when we were voted to form the government.

We banned it first in the rural areas and within a week there was big gathering of women in Patna demanding a similar ban in urban areas. So, we went for the complete ban of alcohol in the state. That is why it can be said that it was not an unpopular step.

Q. Can one state successfully ban alcohol consumption if other states around it don't?

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