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Will liquor trade be stop in Odisha?

Sarojini Bishi

Bhubaneswar: Will liquor trade be stopped in Odisha? Will Odisha be another dry state of India? A few days ago, it was reported that Social Security and Empowerment of the Disabled Minister Nityananda Gond had said that there is a plan to ban liquor in the state. It was reported that the sale of liquor may be banned in the state from August 15 this year. So far liquor has been banned in Gujarat, Bihar, Mizoram, Nagaland and Union Territory of Lakshadweep. No other state government has banned liquor.

In fact, the revenue of the liquor business is huge. If liquor is stopped, huge revenue will be lost. In this regard, will the state government ban alcohol? As far as available, in the first half of the year 2024-25, 10 thousand crore rupees came from the state exchequer from the sale of liquor. In the year 2023-24, by the month of August, the revenue of 2 thousand 655 crore rupees was obtained from the sale of liquor. It would be a bold move for any state government to ban liquor as it generates huge revenue from liquor.
The active liquor lobby argues that if liquor is banned, it will be sold illegally and poisoned liquor will cause death. But it can be said that there is only partial truth in such arguments. Tamil Nadu government has not banned liquor. But recently in Tamil Nadu more than 50 people have died after drinking poisoned liquor. Therefore, the argument that the risk of death from poisoned alcohol will be high only in the states where alcohol is prohibited seems insignificant. Prohibition of alcohol in Bihar has also had a positive impact on the society. In Bihar, alcohol-related domestic violence has significantly decreased and health problems such as obesity among people have decreased, the Lancet, a leading health journal, has revealed.

Alcohol situation in India is very sad. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol-related deaths in India are twice as high as in China. In our country, the number of alcohol-related deaths is 38.5 percent per one lakh people. In China this number is 16 decimal 1 percent. The World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on ‘Alcohol and Health and Treatment of Substance Disorders’ contains this alarming information. According to the report, alcohol causes the death of more than 26 lakh people every year. About 40 million people worldwide suffer from various diseases due to alcohol and drug consumption. The number of people dying from alcohol-related diseases in the world is 4.7 percent. According to the report, 31.2 percent of people aged 15 and above in India drink alcohol. Of this, 3.8 percent is completely consumed by alcohol. 12.3% of people aged 15 years and older drink alcohol.

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