Odisha says total prohibition of liquor is “unrealistic” | india | Hindustan Times
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Odisha says total prohibition of liquor is “unrealistic”

Rejecting the demand for a blanket ban on consumption and manufacture of liquor in Odisha, the state government today termed total prohibition as “unrealistic.”

india Updated: Dec 09, 2015 20:58 IST
Odisha excise minister Damodar Rout has termed a state-wide ban on alcohol “unrealistic”.
Odisha excise minister Damodar Rout has termed a state-wide ban on alcohol “unrealistic”.(HT File Photo)

Rejecting the demand for a blanket ban on consumption and manufacture of liquor in Odisha, the state government today termed total prohibition as “unrealistic.”

“It is not a realistic step to declare the entire state as a total prohibition area,” Excise minister Damodar Rout said while replying to a written question in the Assembly.

The minister’s reply came a day after the women’s wing of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) supported by several social organisations, staged a rally demanding a ban on the consumption and manufacture of alcohol in the state.

The social organisations and political parties in Odisha have intensified their demand of total prohibition in the state after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar banning alcohol in his state from April 1, 2016.

“It is impossible to end the affinity of consumers towards alcohol even if the state declares a total prohibition,” Rout said adding a ban on liquor on the other hand create opportunities for illegal and illicit trade of liquor.

The minister argued that one cannot avoid possibility of hooch tr due to consumption of illegal and illicit liquor by consumers.

“Instead of total prohibition, it will be proper to regulate distribution and sale of pure liquor among the consumers,” he said.

Rout also made it clear that the state government has no intention to earn revenue from sale of liquor in Odisha.

The state government till November-end this fiscal has collected Rs 1,139.83 crore as excise revenue, he said.

Meanwhile, government officials said there was steady rise in the sale of liquor in the state. While the state government earned Rs 306.61 crore as excise revenue in 2004-05, the amount increased to Rs 2,038.79 crore in 2014-15.