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Bihar goes dry, no booze at home too: Everything you need to know

india Updated: Apr 06, 2016 12:15 IST
Hindustan Times
Bihar

Other than Bihar, a total ban on sale of liquor is in force in the states of Gujarat, Nagaland and parts of Manipur; as well as in the Union territory of Lakshadweep. Kerala has been implementing prohibition in a phased manner since 2014.. (Arun Mondhe/HT photo)

Bihar joined the select list of states practising complete or partial prohibition on Tuesday, banning sale and consumption of all kinds of liquor in a move seen as fulfillment of a poll promise to women by chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Read more: High and dry, booze lovers run beyond Bihar borders to quench thirst

The ban includes Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), left out of the partial prohibition clamped on April 1.

Other than Bihar, a total ban on sale of liquor is in force in the states of Gujarat, Nagaland and parts of Manipur; as well as in the Union territory of Lakshadweep. Kerala has been implementing prohibition in a phased manner since 2014.

Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu enforced prohibition but repealed it later.

Here is all you need to know about the total prohibition in Bihar:

Meaning of total prohibition:

1. You cannot drink liquor even at home

2. Keeping liquor at home is also an offence

3. If travelling to Bihar, you can’t bring liquor

4. Exemption only to defence canteens. Liquor to be supplied to army personnel in bottles with broken seal

5. Liquor ban to cover foreigners as well

6. 45 bar licences to hotels, restaurants, clubs in Patna cancelled

7. The state would lose Rs 4,000 crore revenue annually

8. For four- or five-star hotels, the ban means a revenue loss of up to Rs 2.5 cr each annually

9. Government to formulate a policy for disposal of 36,000 litres of IMFL available with Bihar State Beverage Corporation Limited

Penalties as per the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2016

1. It may invite the gallows or life term and fine up to Rs 10 lakh to manufacturers or sellers if illicit liquor causes death of a consumer

2. If illicit liquor causes disability, manufacturers or sellers of illicit liquor can get 10 year or life term and fine up to Rs 10 lakh

3. 8-10 year imprisonment and Rs 1-10 lakh fine in case of damage to anyone by illicit liquor

4. Drinking at public place to invite 5-7 year imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh fine

5. Rs 4 lakh humanitarian aid to kin of hooch tragedy victims

Revenue loss

1. The state would lose projected revenue of Rs 4000 crore

2. It had paid rich dividends as the state’s revenue figure rose from paltry Rs 319 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 3650 crore in 2014-15

Effect on manufacturers

1. Bihar has four major players in liquor trade, including McDowell’s, United Breweries Limited (now Diego), Carlsberg and Cobra beer promoted by global giant Molson Coors and Lord Karan Bilimoria.

2. The beer manufacturing unit of Molson-Billimoria at Bihta had tripled its packaging capacity and doubled its brewing capacity in 2011 onwards to tap the high demand of beer in the state due to liberal excise policy. Brands like Thunderbolt and Cobra beer are manufactured at this plant.

3. United Breweries promoted by Vijay Mallya has set up a factory at Naubatpur with a production capacity of 12 million cases at a cost of Rs 200 crore. The Kingfisher brand of beer is one of the highest selling brands of the UB. The third beer factory running is at Paliganj where Carlsberg beer and other products are manufactured.

4. The ban means that no new IMFL factory will come up in Bihar but the existing one will face no problem. However, they will not supply in the state.

5. This is a big blow for the beer firms as figures say the yearly off take of beer by liquor vends across the state till March, 2016 was around 250 crore cases (each case has 12 bottles) while the yearly off take of whisky was around 5 lakh cases (each case has 12 to 24 bottles).

6. A total of 222 liqour labels had seen sales, which has now come to a close.

7. This means, the government’s bid to shore up Rs 29,730 crore in current fiscal year 2016-17 would take a big hit as there would be a big shortfall from excise and related VAT on liquor products.

8. Though the government has kept a target of generating Rs 29730 crore with sales tax likely to earn Rs 13,700 crore ( 47% of the total tax revenue), there are chances that the collections would be far less.