On wednesday Bihar cabinet at its meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar approved the new excise policy which made consumption of liquor in public places a criminal offence
Culprits, if caught will face a jail term up to 10 years, according to the provisions of the new policy.
The policy will be notified after approval by the state legislature. On final decision by government to go ahead with its prohibition plan from April 1, it will have to get the policy endorsed by the state legislature prior to it.
Although there is no clarity whether the policy contains provisions for capital punishment to those involving in production and sale of illicit liquor.
While a senior officer of the excise and liquor prohibition department claimed that the draft policy had provision for capital punishment.
sources in the government said death penalty for those indulging in production of liquor in breach of the stipulated policy had been put on hold for now.
“Along with banning consumption of liquor in public places, the new policy provides for fine up to Rs 5 lakh to those found involved in illegal trade of liquor. The policy also envisages stern punitive action against officials found indulging in promotion of the illegal trade,” said an official.
proposal to restrict sugar mills from producing spirit was also approved by cabinet. Henceforth produce ethanol will be produced instead of spirit, the common byproduct of sugar-making process,by the mills the official added.