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The Bihar government would not renew licences of liquor production and bottling units in the state. Twelve such units have been exporting alcohol despite prohibition since April. Three of them have discontinued production.
“… as per powers given under (the) Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, the cabinet decided not to renew licenses of bottling and manufacturing of liquor made with grains from the coming financial year,’’ said Cabinet Principal Secretary Brajesh Mehrotra after the cabinet met at Rajgir on Tuesday. The move comes ahead of the proposed 11,292-km all-Bihar human chain formation on January 21 to spread awareness about prohibition. Officials have called the move the “final frontier” in making the prohibition successful.
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The government had been under opposition pressure to take the decision. It had made liquor production tax-free in the state, prompting criticism.
BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had buckled under the pressure. “It looked ridiculous to see liquor units functioning in the state after prohibition. The state government took the decision to save blushes ahead of the human chain function. It is delayed but a welcome step,” he said. He added that the JD (U), which had been trying to ally with SP in Uttar Pradesh, should also seek prohibition in that state.