Amendments to Bihar's stringent liquor-ban law likely to be tabled in Assembly next month, hints CM Nitish Kumar

Sources said the panel of officials from three departments - home, excise and prohibition, and law - would submit the amendments agreed upon to the government by the end of next week.

Published: 26th June 2018 11:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2018 11:00 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar CM and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar. | File PTI

Express News Service

PATNA: The Bihar government is likely to present a bill to amend the stringent prohibition law in the Assembly's monsoon session beginning next month, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Nitish Kumar hinted on Tuesday.  The government, however, has no plans to revoke the law, said Kumar, insisting that the ban has brought about significant improvements in the socioeconomic lives of Bihar's people. The proposed amendments, he said, aim at ending the scope for abuses of the law.

"We not only enact and enforce laws, but also review their efficacy through ground-level studies and feedback from various sections. A committee of officials is reviewing the provisions of the law currently. The monsoon session of the Assembly is round the corner." said Kumar in his address at a function to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Patna.

Sources said the panel of officials from three departments - home, excise and prohibition, and law - would submit the amendments agreed upon to the government by the end of next week. "The amendments would be ratified by the state cabinet and tabled in the monsoon session of the Assembly beginning from July 20," said a senior home department official.

"Prohibition has improved the life of people in Bihar in several ways, but some people are opposing it and wrongfully describing the liquor ban as an infringement of rights. We will not compromise with our commitment on prohibition," said Kumar. Referring to the death of four people in Begusarai district on Monday due to consumption of surgical spirit in the absence of liquor, Kumar said such deaths did not reflect the failure of the prohibition law. "The people need to be sensitised more about the severe harms from liquor addiction, and the government is engaged in spreading awareness programmes," he added.

Prohibition was enforced in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance government in April 2016 through a stringent anti-liquor law that banned manufacturing, sale and consumption of liquor. With more than 1.41 lakh people having been arrested so far, public discontent over the law is steadily rising in recent months.

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