Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has written a letter to his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar questioning his decision to allow tax holiday for breweries even as complete prohibition is in place in latter and state. Das, who has been involved in a war of words with Kumar ever since prohibition was promulgated in Bihar in April this year, asked Kumar to reconsider his decision, as Jharkhand was most likely to be affected, as it would ensure more and cheap availability of liquor.
In his letter, Das said: It has been brought to my notice that your government has given tax holiday to the companies producing liquor in your state to increase liquor production. This would help the companies reduce liquor price, even though the state would lose revenue in the process. With the companies being allowed to produce and bottle the product, the liquor would be sold in other states (as there is complete prohibition in the state). Being the nearest neighbour, cheap liquor sale would increase in Jharkhand also.
Das went on to add: You would agree that there is contradiction in this decision. Whenever you go to other states, you profess prohibition, but at the same time you seek market in Jharkhand and other states by allowing manufacture of cheap liquor. I request you to reconsider the issue and take a decision that would help in liquor prohibition.
Das also noted that not only the Bihar government has imposed complete prohibition, but also formulated stringent laws to ensure its implementation.
Earlier, Kumar had launched attack on Das almost immediately after imposing prohibition in April. He had accused Das of not responding to his call for help in controlling sale and consumption of liquor in border areas.
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Das had retaliated saying that it was Kumar, who first made people of Bihar addicts by taking liquor vends to the village. He also accused of him being drunk on power.
Kumar, who has taking his ban liquor campaign across several states, had launched it in Dhanbad in May, telling the audience that the prohibition has been successful, even though Jharkhand government was not cooperating.