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Prohibition in Bihar has raised “Gross Domestic Happiness” level says state Govt affidavit in Supreme Court

February 12, 2017 05:39 AM

NEW DELHI: If the Nitish Kumar government is to be believed, prohibition has turned Bihar into the land of law-abiding people and industrious milk drinkers. Its 'Gross Domestic Happiness' has increased, which will translate into enhanced human resource potential, the state government has informed the Supreme Court.

But the state exchequer took a big hit. The state said it could suffer a excise duty loss of around Rs 5,000 crore because of prohibition.

Since prohibition was imposed a year ago, abductions dipped by 61.76%, murder by 28%, dacoity by 23% and rape by 10%, while car and tractor sales jumped by 30%.

Sale of milk and milk products has registered an 11% upswing. The other items selling briskly are hosiery and ready-made garments (up by 44%), furniture (20%), sewing machines (19%), sports goods (18%), fast moving consumer goods (18%), cars (30%), tractors (29%), two wheelers (31.6%) and engine and motors (33.6%).

The JD(U)-RLD government, in its affidavit to the court, said, "According to annual health survey of 2011, about 9.5% of people of Bihar, including women, in the age bracket of 15 years and above used to consume alcohol.

Based on this estimate and taking into account the 2011 Census figures, at least 44 lakh people in the state were alcoholics prior to April 2016, when prohibition was enforced in the state."

The affidavit said this population of alcoholics was each spending Rs 1,000 on liquor every month on an average, which added up to Rs 440 crore.

Thus, nearly Rs 5,280 crore is now being saved a year. "The money which was otherwise spent in consumption of alcohol is now being utilised for augmenting family budget for food, clothing, education and other productive purposes," it said through advocate Keshav Mohan.

But the state exchequer took a big hit. The state said it could suffer a excise duty loss of around Rs 5,000 crore because of prohibition.

"In order to overcome such revenue loss, the state government has enhanced value added tax (VAT) on certain items/commodities, which would mitigate some loss to the state exchequer.

As a result of prohibition, there is an increase in household savings which is translating into increased spending on consumer items. This, in turn, would increase tax collection of the state," the government said.

Apart from drawing an inseparable link between liquor and crime, the state said prohibition enforced since April, 2016 has reduced even riots by 17.52% compared to the same period in the previous year. Road accidents and casualties in such accidents reduced by 20%.

Having to deal with a large number of alcohol addicts, the state government set up de-addiction centres in 38 districts where free counselling was provided. "Since April 1, 2016, a total 8,763 persons have been treated at de-addiction centres," it said. This means, on an average each de-addition centre treated 8 persons a month.





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