Cabinet minister Saryu Rai has expressed dissatisfaction over the state government’s decision of liquor sale in Jharkhand. He claimed that liquor sale by the government would be impractical for officials in districts.
Speaking to mediapersons in Jamshedpur, Rai said the Raghubar Das-led cabinet should reconsider its decision of liquor sale by the government.
“After the call by Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living for a total liquor ban in Jharkhand, the government should take notice of it,” he added.
The state cabinet, on February 21, had approved the proposal of selling liquor through its own outlets under the Jharkhand State Beverages Corporation Limited, to generate revenue from August 1.
The parliamentary affairs minister Rai said despite differences among ministers over the issue, the proposal was passed by the cabinet.
“The government earns several crores of revenue through liquor sale, but the selling of the same by the state government would send a wrong message among the masses. General public, especially women from rural and slum areas, have been organising protest movements against liquor sale in their respective localities. The government should pay due respect to their opinions,” the minister said.
During the recent visit to Jharkhand, Sri Sri Ravishankar had asked chief cinister Raghubar Das to impose a total ban on liquor sale.
Previously, during his Bihar visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appreciated chief minister Nitish Kumar’s step of total liquor ban in his state.
“The state government should try to find out new sources of revenue instead of selling liquor directly. Officials in all the districts will face practical problems in completing ground work for starting liquor sale from government outlets,” the minister said.
After a strong protest from opposition parties, legislators and within the Bharatiya Janata Party over the issue, Das had said the government would not open outlets in more than 12 out of 24 districts, having 50 percent tribal population.
Rai is in favour of a total ban on liquor in Jharkhand instead of a partial ban on National Highways and tribal populated districts.