Prohibition: How Gujarat and other states fared

Aug 28 2014, 09:28 IST
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SummaryBefore Kerala, five other states had implemented prohibition...

Kerala government has taken up a new liquor policy, ratified on Wednesday, which aims at making the state liquor-free in a decade. Here's a look at five other states which banned alcohol consumption:

Gujarat

Prohibition has been in place ever since statehood in 1960, first under Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, and now under the Gujarat Prohibition Act, 2011, following several amendments. The latest version, which followed 150 deaths caused by hooch in Ahmedabad in 2009, includes the death penalty for those found guilty of making and selling spurious liquor. The law allows for temporary and long-term drinking permits to foreigners, NRIs and tourists, with outlets and purchase limits specified. A resident can get a permit only on health grounds. At special economic zones, the government allows consumption against three-year permits. Every city, however, has bootleggers and an illegal interstate business thrives, estimated at around Rs 1,500 crore annually.

Mizoram

Total prohibition for 18 years, relaxed by a new law in July. Rules allowing regulated sale and consumption of alcohol being framed, liquor shops and bars may take a few more months to open. Government figures show high seizures of alcohol and several arrests of bootleggers and drunkards between 1995 and the end of the first quarter this year. Opponents of prohibition say these show prohibition has been a “failure” and has done little to reduce the availability of alcohol.

Andhra Pradesh

Experimented with prohibition from 1994 to 1997. Following a movement by women who vandalised liquor shops and beat up people drinking in public, N T Rama Rao promised prohibition, won elections from that plank and kept the promise after becoming CM in January 1995. The experiment failed. “Though consumption by the poor came down drastically, there were many leaks. It also led to corruption in police, administration and politics and liquor was available although in very limited quantities,’’ says Lok Satta Party president Jayprakash Narayan. CM Chandrababu Naidu, who ousted NTR in 1995, got a bill passed that permitted IMFL but kept arrack banned. Two years and several costly welfare schemes later, prohibition was lifted.

Haryana

Hours after taking over in 1996, chief minister Bansi Lal imposed prohibition. In the very first year, estimates say, revenues dropped Rs 1,200 crore, ruling party leaders started voicing protests, and women complained about their husbands deserting their homes for places where they could drink. More than a lakh cases were registered, thousands of vehicles impounded, lakhs of bottles

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