After announcing a ban on country made liquor in Bihar from April 1 next year, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is now reportedly planning to offer dairy booths to people affected by the closure of liquor shops.
According to a report in The Times of India, the state government is in talks with Co-operative Milk Producers' Federation (COMPFED) to work out modalities for converting liquor shops into dairy booths.
"We have plans to protect jobs of those who are in the business of running liquor shops. These shops are in prime localities.These can be converted into milk booths which can sell Sudha brand," TOI quoted the CM as saying.
He further added that the initiative would not only create other employment opportunities for people running liquor vends, but it will also help the state-run entity's business.
The TOI report further states, "Elaborating on his strategy to enforce ban of liquor sale in the state in phases, Nitish said he planned to launch a social movement by involving around 5.5 lakh women's self-help groups which have 50 lakh members. He said these SHGs would also help in curbing illegal liquor sale after the ban."
The ban will reportedly cost the state exchequer Rs 3,500 crore annually.
Kumar had recently said that while only country made liquor will be banned from next year, he was committed to enforce total prohibition of liquor in the state in a phased manner eventually. "Once sale of country made liquor is banned, decision will be taken on foreign liquor," he said.
From April 1, 2016, Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) will be available at limited government outlets. Nearly 6,000 shops across the state sell foreign liquor.
However, according to the TOI report, the CM explained that "except around 40-45 cities and towns, the ban on IMFL will be enforced in most rural areas in phase one itself."