Karnataka Team Visits Patna To Study Bihar’s Prohibition Experiment

PATNA: A 31-member team of Karnataka State Temperance Board on Thursday called on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to learn about state’s total prohibition policy and its implementation.

The team discussed with the chief minister various aspects related to the total ban on sale and consumption of alcohol in Bihar since April last year.

Mr Kumar told the visiting team that prohibition in the state has ushered into a “social movement”.

“Initially, we had thought of implementing liquor ban in a phased manner, starting from villages and moving on to small towns and big cities. But after the first phase of prohibition came into force on April 1, 2016, we started receiving complaints about liquor shops functioning in urban areas. So we announced a complete ban on April 5, 2016”, Mr Kumar said.

“We may have lost about Rs. 5000 crore a year in terms of revenue. But the people of the state, who were wasting around Rs. 10,000 crore on alcohol, are now spending the money on more productive things,” Mr Kumar claimed.

“There has been an improvement in people’s standard of living and a drop in road accidents and crimes,” he said counting virtues of alcohol ban.

The visiting delegation from Karnataka, which praised the Chief Minister’s “bold” initiative of liquor ban, also held talks with the state’s top officials especially on the legal implications of bringing in such a policy.