Cong, BJP want prohibition in Punjab

The poll-bound parties in Punjab, dubbed the land of “Patiala peg” because of its over-sized measure of a peg and high liquor consumption, are toying with the idea of imposing liquor prohibition in a phased manner.

A similar experiment was successfully put to effect in Kerala by the previous Congress-led government.

Top politicians, including Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur, who is the daughter-in-law of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, have supported prohibition in the state.

The Congress, too, in its election manifesto for the Assembly elections on February 4, committed itself to shutting down 25% of liquor vends in the next five years.

The manifesto was released on Monday by former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Punjab consumes more than 30 crore bottles of liquor every year — about 8.20 lakh bottles daily. Liquor consumption in Punjab has doubled in the last 10 years. In 2015-16, the government earned close to Rs 3,057 crore from liquor sale.

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