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Alchol Prohobition

  • Date Submitted: 02/21/2011 11:31 PM
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Advanc'edge MBA / September 2003

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Alcohol Prohibition in India
A Success or a Failure?
- Gaurang Shah
The Legal Position Alcohol prohibition is under the control of each state and the central government has little control over it except on customs duties for imported alcohol. Each state has full control of alcohol legislation, state excise duty rates and the organisation (control and records of movement) of production and sale of alcohol. There is thus significant variation in prohibition across states and over time within states. Three Degrees of Prohibition Prohibition legislation is more or less consistent in its mandate across states and over time. There are three main types of prohibition policy: 4 Complete prohibition of production and consumption; 4 Partial prohibition where one or more type of liquor (usually arrack) is prohibited; and 4 Dry days where consumption is prohibited for certain days of the week or month. It is interesting to note that Gujarat - the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi - is also the only state to have had complete prohibition since Independence. In the last two decades, complete prohibition policies have been concentrated in the North Eastern states where there is a high incidence of alcohol and substance abuse and strong anti-liquor lobby groups. Partial prohibition (of arrack) has been the main policy choice of the Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh where much country liquor is distilled. In fact, prohibition legislation across most states is very similar in terms of its extent and the penalties it imposes on the production and consumption of prohibited liquor items. In addition to complete prohibition, some states in some periods have enacted prohibition of selected alcohol items, notably arrack. Prohibition over the past 50 years The use of prohibition in India has a long history. Gujarat, declared prohibition soon after the British left and has...


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