No license to liquor manufacturing units from April 1: Nitish Kumar

Munger: Intensifying the campaign for complete ban on alcohol in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said no license would be provided to any liquor manufacturing unit from the next financial year.

“License of existing units would not be renewed in the financial year 2017-18 and no new license will be provided to any liquor manufacturing unit in the state from April 1 this year,” he said addressing ‘Chetna Sabha’ here marking the eighth leg of ‘Nishchay Yatra’.

The decision, he said, was taken as per provisions of the Excise Act, 2016.

Kumar said the state cabinet at its meeting at Rajgir on Tuesday decided not to renew the licence of beer manufacturing units and its bottling plants and ENA (Extra Neutral Alcohol) manufacturing units in the next financial year.

It was also decided not to renew license of three beer manufacturing units, 12 bottling plants and six ENA making establishments in the 2017-18 fiscal.

Distilleries facing closure includes some big names like United Spirits Limited at Hathidah in Patna district, United Breweries Limited, Carlsberg India Limited and Molson Coors Cobra India Ltd located at other places in the state.

Six units manufacturing ethanol would continue to function as the substance is used for mixing with petrol and is environment friendly, he said.

Principal Secretary to cabinet coordination department Brajesh Mehrotra said if the units whose license would not be renewed in the next fiscal wish to manufacture non-alcoholic products in their existing establishments, they would be permitted.

The ‘Nishchay Yatra’ began in December last year and is aimed at taking feedback from people on prohibition as well implementation of government’s ‘seven resolves’ of development.

The chief minister, who was to fly directly to Munger from Jamui, made an unscheduled stop near Bhimbandh in the jungles where he took a bath in a hot spring and announced the place would be developed as a tourist spot. Bhimbandh is a Maoist-affected area and several incidents related to LWE had taken place there in the past.