Fulfilling his election promise, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar announced that his Government would ban alcohol from April 1, 2016.
“My government is committed to fulfilling promises made to women during the election campaign. There was a surge of complaints from women about male members of the family resorting to drinking and creating nuisance, which also affected the education of their children. Though the excise department can earn Rs 4,000 cr per year (from liquor sale), we have to think in terms of public interest and take this decision,” said Nitish, speaking at a function of the excise and prohibition department reported by indianexpress
The CM said the poor were the worst affected. “I hope such families are able to save money and spend it on the education and nutrition of their children”.
This brings to the forefront an age-old debate: should Governments ban the consumption of alcohol?
Those who want alcohol to be banned cite its relation with the crime rate, health hazards of alcohol consumption, alcohol addiction and its adverse effects on the individual.
Those who oppose a ban on alcohol cite the individual’s freedom of choice, the alcohol industry which employs millions and provides revenue for the Government, and the fact that if a ban is enacted it will lead to an underground black market which will increase criminal activity and instances of alcohol produced without following regulations and inspections.