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Kerala CM hails Supreme Court verdict upholding liquor policy

With the new liquor policy, only 27 five-star hotels in Kerala would have liquor bars. Besides this, 33 clubs also have license to serve liquor.The policy also had proposed to close down 10 per cent of the IMFL retail outlets of Kerala State Beverages Corporation, which is the sole distributor of IMFL in the state. With this, 36 IMFL outlets would be shut down every year.

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Be wary of that imported scotch being offered for cheap! It may be fake

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Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai.

Tempted by that offer of a bottle of premium scotch claimed to be sourced from a “duty-free” shop and being offered at a hefty discount for your New Year bash? Do not fall prey to the lure as there are chances that this bottle may be a cheap brand of liquor being passed off as the original.”With December 31 round the corner, bootleggers and counterfeiters are cashing in on the increased demand for liquor by trying to pass off duplicate liquor as the original brew for cheaper by claiming that it has been sourced from duty-free shops. For instance, a bottle of high-end whiskey which costs Rs 5,000 in a wine shop may be sold for around Rs 2,500 by these people with the bottle containing mid-range liquor,” said a senior state excise department official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this month, the state excise flying squad raided a building in Andheri (West) and arrested six people involved in manufacturing and sale of duplicate Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They also seized bottles of premium whiskey brands and raw material.The prime target of these rackets, which make a killing due to the margins involved, is the neo-rich class which seeks to shift from low quality liquor to premium brands but is unable to distinguish between original and duplicate versions.Liquor smugglers also try to cash in on the higher demand for liquor by bringing in duty-evaded alcohol from neighbouring states Goa and Daman, which have liberal excise duty regimes than Maharashtra, leading to cheaper goods.The flying squad also intercepted 500 boxes of duty-evaded IMFL and beer, which were brought into Maharashtra from Goa and Madhya Pradesh, and arrested two people. The stash, which is worth Rs18 lakh, includes 350 boxes of whiskey and 150 boxes of a popular brand of strong beer.Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai. The kingpins and foot soldiers of this illegal business rent premises on a temporary basis in Bandra, Santa Cruz, Khar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Goregaon and prepare duplicate liquor.These counterfeiters purchase empty bottles from bhangar (scrap) shops or order original-looking replicas of bottles and caps from other countries which are then brought to Maharashtra via neighbouring states.Though it is mandatory for all retail outlets to smash bottles of premium imported brands, like scotch and single malts, and deface or remove labels from empty IMFL bottles to prevent their misuse, it is difficult to ensure that individual consumers followed suit.”It is necessary for people to purchase liquor from authorised wine shops because there are chances that bootleggers may be bottling cheap quality alcohol in bottles of premium brands and passing them off as originals. Such liquor may also be harmful for health,” said a senior state excise official.

Nitish prohibition plan: Here’s what you can and cannot buy in Bihar

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However, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) would be available at limited government outlets. Initially there would be total ban on sale of country liquor from new financial year starting from April 1, 2016.

Nitish Kumar

The Nitish Kumar government on Friday unveiled its strategy to enforce prohibition of alcohol in Bihar in phases as part of which there would be total ban on country liquor from April 1 next year.However, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) would be available at limited government outlets. Initially there would be total ban on sale of country liquor from new financial year starting from April 1, 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said after a special cabinet meeting this evening.From that date onwards, limited shops run by government body Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited (BSBCL) will sell IMFL in municipal and town council areas. Kumar said BSBCL, which runs under aegis of state Excise department, would take up the responsibility of retail sale of IMFL and would run outlets under strict guideline. “Earlier BSBCL was involved only in wholesale trade of IMFL but from now it would take up direct responsibility of retail also,” Kumar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said after BSBCL takes up the job of IMFL sale, almost 90 per cent of present liquor outlets would be shut down thus minimizing the ill effect of alcohol consumption in the state. The Chief Minister, who had called the special cabinet meeting to approve the new Excise Policy, said his government decided to go phase-wise in enforcing prohibition in Bihar to make it “more effective.” However, he did not say anything on when the IMFL would also come under prohibition.Reiterating his pre-poll commitment to women that if he returned to power his future government would ban alcohol, Kumar said he was not bothered about revenue loss on account of prohibition. “The state is drawing around Rs 5000 crore from sale of liquor at present. I do not bother about losing revenue for a great social cause (banning liquor to save poor families getting ruined on this count),” he said. Excise Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan accompanied Kumar in the press conference. The Bihar CM stressed on social movement against alcohol consumption to make the Prohibition more effective. He exhorted women self help groups to demolish “Bhattis” (makeshift manufacturing place of hooch) and inform police immediately. “I am going to lay a guideline for response time for police action on such complaints from women against any such illegal hooch manufacturing,” Kumar said.”The police response time on such complaints should not be more than the time needed to travel from police station to the site,” he said. A committee under Chief Secretary would monitor everything relating to enforcement of liquor ban.The Bihar CM said direct responsibility would be fixed on District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police for illegal sale and manufacturing of liquor once the enforcement comes into action. Kumar said he has asked the Health department to set up de-addiction centre in every district to help habitual drinkers give up the bad habit. “We need to tread step-by-step and that is why prohibition has been decided in phases,” the CM said.The Bihar CM said from April 1, 2016 foreign liquor would be available only from BSBCL outlets that would function under strict government guidelines. CCTV cameras would be installed at BSBCL outlets to find out if any one is consuming liquor outside the shop, as is the practice by some people, he added.

Bihar alcohol ban may be limited to country-made liquor

Fulfilling a promise he had made to women before the assembly elections in the state, Nitish Kumar had on November 26, announced his plan to effect a liquor ban in the state next year.

Though Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that alcohol will be banned in Bihar from April 1 next year, some reports say the ban could be limited only to country-made liquor.Fulfilling a promise he had made to women before the assembly elections in the state, Nitish Kumar had on November 26, announced his plan to effect a liquor ban in the state next year.However, a revenue deficit of Rs 5,500 crore that the ban is likely to bring on, may limit the ban to only country-made liquor, according to a report in a leading daily. “Ban on country-made liquor will be effected first, and IMFL, if it’s economically feasible, later,” a revenue and excise department official told the daily. The ban would be staggered at the very least, an official from an Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) company added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, AJ Mastan, Bihar Minister, Registration & Excise insisted that all kinds of alcohol would be banned. “The government feels that alcohol is death, will a government sell death?” he said. Bihar earns a revenue of Rs 400 crore annually from liquor sale.During his election campaign, women had requested Nitish Kumar at a function to stop the sale of liquor, saying it was ruining their homes and Kumar had promised to do so if he returned to power. The promise is believed to have paid rich dividends to Kumar in the elections as women voters outnumbered men by nearly 5% in all five phases of voting.The erstwhile ruling NDA in Bihar had implemented a liberal excise policy under the earlier government, headed by Kumar himself, due to which a large number of liquor shops had come up in the state. Also Read: Why Nitish Kumar’s plan to ban alcohol in Bihar is flawed

Liquor stock seized from Amul Dairy chairman’s plot in ‘dry’ Gujarat

“This is a political conspiracy hatched against me to implicate me in an offence of prohibition and to tarnish my image just before the dairy elections. I am against addiction of liquor and I never consume it..Why will I need such a huge stock (of liquor),” Parmar asked.

Representational image.

A cache of liquor bottles worth around Rs 5.32 lakh was seized from a plot owned by Congress MLA and Amul Dairy chairman Ramsinh Parmar at Thasra town in the district on Sunday, police said.”A total of 2023 beer bottles worth Rs 4.84 lakh and 18 boxes of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) worth around Rs 48,200 were seized from Parmar’s plot in Thasra town. Police have arrested three persons including a minor under the Prohibition Act,” said Thasra police sub-inspector A G Chauhan.He said one of the trio was a class V student while two others were identified as Vinu Babu Kharad and Pravin Mali.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They were unloading the consignment of liquor bottles from an Eicher truck in a godown located inside Parmar’s plot when a police team, comprising personnel of Nadiad town crime branch, Special Operation Group (SOG) and local police caught them, Chauhan said.Gujarat has a sumptuary law in force since its formation in 1960 that proscribes the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.When contacted, Parmar, who represents Thasra seat in the Legislative Assembly, termed the incident as a “political conspiracy” against him ahead of forthcoming elections to Amul Dairy.”This is a political conspiracy hatched against me to implicate me in an offence of prohibition and to tarnish my image just before the dairy elections. I am against addiction of liquor and I never consume it..Why will I need such a huge stock (of liquor),” Parmar asked.He said the seizure of the liquor consignment took place outside his plot and the vehicle did not belong to him. I also don’t know the arrested persons,” he added.

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