Nitish Kumar
Bihar to be a dry state with immediate effect Picture: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish KumarIANS

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Thursday that the state government will ban liquor from 1 April, 2016.

"Govt is formulating policies and laws to ban liquor in the state from April 1 2016," ANI quoted Nitish Kumar as saying.

"Women in the state started an anti-liquor campaign, I really appreciated that... Those villages which will help us in our campaign against liquor will be awarded," he said.

The chief minister assured of strict action if people resort to illegal sale of liquor. "I know ppl will say that even after banning liquor it will be sold illegally, If it happens then we will deal with that strongly," he said.

Nitish made the announcement at an official function to mark Prohibition Day in Patna. During the months before the Assembly elections, Nitish had promised to impose prohibition in the state if he was voted to power again.

The JD(U) chief said that the move was taken in the backdrop of adverse effects of liquor consumption, particulary among the poor sections of the society. He said that liquor consumption is one of the major reasons behind domestic violence and rising crimes, besides affecting children's education.

"In 1977-78 we tried to impose prohibition but it was not effective. But I feel women are suffering more than others (because of alcohol abuse)... I have instructed my officials to start working towards this and implement this from the next financial year," NDTV quoted Kumar as saying at a function.

"If they are happy, state's development drive would get the necessary acceleration. We will find ways to make up for the possible Rs 4,000 crore loss from this head," the Hindustan Times quoted Nitish as saying.

The state government has not made it clear as yet, whether the ban will be only on country liquor or all categories of alcohol.

The government's decision is likely to affect the state's finances as the excise department collected Rs 3,650 crore in 2014-15, after introducing a new policy in 2007 and issuing licences for marketing liquor across the state. In 2006, the revenue collection was just Rs 319 crore.

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