Patna(PTI): If Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has his way, thousands of liquor shops in Bihar may be soon be selling healthy dairy products as his government gradually enforces prohibition in the state.
Kumar said almost 6000 liquor vends will have the choice of selling products of Sudha, which is run by the Bihar State Co-Operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd, as it will give a boost to the state-run entity’s business and also provide employment to people running these shops. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his party JD(U)’s National Executive meet, Kumar said he was “absolutely firm” about his plan to impose prohibition in the state, saying it was his “commitment” and that millions of women in the state want it.
“There was this apprehension about loss of employment for people involved in this trade. So my government will give them the choice of selling Sudha products,” he said, noting that most of these vends are in prime locations.
He also allayed apprehensions of bootlegging following the liquor ban and said “a good thing ” cannot be stopped due to such fears and his government was taking measures to deal with its fallout.
“It will be the joint responsibility of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police,” he said, adding thousands of self-help groups will assist the government in making the measure a success. His government is also opening de-addiction centres to help people hooked to alcohol.
Kumar’s promise of liquor ban is said to have played a big role in rallying woman voters around the grand alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress which scored a resounding victory over the BJP-led NDA in the state assembly election. Admitting that his government will suffer a loss of anywhere between Rs 3000-3500 crore once the first phase of prohibition kicks in from April 1, Kumar said his government was prepared meet the challenge. The Bihar government has decided to ban the sale of country-made and spiced liquor in the first phase.