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Bihar to Turn Liquor Bottles into Bangles

  • 09 Sep 2022
  • 3 min read

For Prelims: Rural Livelihoods Promotion Programme, JEEViKA, Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016.

For mains: Bihar’s Liquor Prohibition and Related Issues.

Why in News?

Bihar is preparing to make glass bangles out of seized liquor bottles, through its Rural Livelihoods Promotion Programme, known as JEEViKA.

  • These bottles will be given to JEEViKA workers who have been trained in bangle-making. The programme will set up a factory for this.
  • Funded by the World Bank, JEEViKA is a rural social and economic empowerment programme that comes under Bihar’s rural development department.

What is the Economic Viability of the Move?

  • Some are apprehensive about the economic viability of the government’s new “innovative” idea of making glass bangles out of seized liquor bottles.
  • It may sound like an innovative idea but in making glass bangles other materials too are used like limestone and soda.
  • There are several small and big established factories in places like Faizabad, Mumbai and Hyderabad which constitute about 80% of glass bangle-making products.
  • The seized illegal liquor bottles will not be enough to sustain a glass bangle-making factory’s economic viability.

What are Bihar’s Liquor Prohibition and Related Issues?

  • About:
    • Introduced on 5 April 2016, the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, imposed a total ban on alcohol in the state.
    • In March 2022, the Bihar assembly passed a Bill amending the prohibition Act.
    • Called the Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the law says people caught consuming liquor will now have to pay a fine before a magistrate and won’t be sent to jail.
      • The amendment is still awaiting implementation after the Patna High Court voiced its reservations about judicial power being vested in officials designated as special executive magistrates in districts and subdivisions.
  • Issues:
    • As a result, the old system of arrest continues — data from the excise department shows that in August 2022 alone, 30,000 persons were arrested for violating liquor laws.
    • The liquor prohibition policy has been the subject of many controversies — chief among them is the allegation that the law has choked up the state’s judicial processes.
    • Liquor law violations have led to overcrowding of jails in Bihar. There are around 1.5 lakh people in Bihar jails for the violations.
      • Most of them belong to the lower and downtrodden classes of society who can’t bribe their way out of prison.

Source: TH

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