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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?
- 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.
- 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.