From the next financial year, no company will be granted new liquor manufacturing licences in Bihar, nor will the existing licences be renewed, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced on Wednesday. The decision was made in accordance with the provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016, he said.
Senior bureaucrat Brajesh Mehrotra clarified that affected companies will be allowed to manufacture non-alcoholic products in their current establishments, PTI reported.
The move comes about a week after Kumar urged the Narendra Modi government to impose prohibition in states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it would create a “favourable environment” for a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the country. Modi had recently praised Kumar for his efforts to implement a liquor ban in Bihar.
In April 2015, the state government had announced a complete ban on alcohol in the state. While the Patna High Court, on September 30, 2016, had ordered the government to stop enforcing the ban, the Supreme Court had stayed the order in October.