Liquor industry asks Bihar CM to withdraw prohibition

Liquor industry asks Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to withdraw prohibition

The CIABC has stated that an organised liquor cartel has come up in the state which was selling liquor at 400% premium

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Credit: PTI file photo.

Indian liquor manufacturers have again requested Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to gradually withdraw prohibition in the state claiming that is has not only increased smuggling and sale of illicit liquor but has also caused major financial losses to the state exchequer.

In its letter to the Chief Minister and leaders of NDA constituent parties, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) has sought immediate withdrawal of prohibition which has led to creation of liquor mafia, and has caused major damage to state’s economy and potential investments thus hitting job creation.

In its letter, which has also been addressed to the Deputy Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Mukesh Sahani, the CIABC has stated that an organised liquor cartel has come up in the state which was selling liquor at 400% premium.

“While people are forced to pay exorbitant prices for procuring liquor illegally, the government revenues are severely hit by the illegal sale. Revenue from liquor sale used to be a major source of revenue for the state exchequer. The state government is missing out on an annual revenue of Rs 7,000-8,000 crore, while the state is moving towards a debt crisis due to major loss of revenue” said CIABC Director General Vinod Giri.

“The state government needs to gradually end prohibition and go for controlled and channelised opening of liquor trade in the state. We have suggested that liquor sale should be allowed only in urban areas to begin with, and the government should fix a minimum price so that cheap liquor which is more harmful is not sold in the market. The government should also strictly tackle drinking in public places as is being done in states like Delhi,” Giri he added.