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    IndiaOdisha Minister's call for liquor ban sparks discussion on potential economic fallout

    Odisha Minister’s call for liquor ban sparks discussion on potential economic fallout


    Odisha's Minister for Social Security and Empowerment Nityananda Gond has reaffirmed the government's commitment to curb liquor use in the state and ultimately phase out alcohol sales. Speaking on Day Against Drug Abuse, the Minister said addiction is causing harm and the well-being of citizens must take priority over financial gains.

    However, removing liquor from retail outlets could mean an annual shortfall of around 10,000 crore rupees for Odisha according to estimates. The earnings from alcohol taxation currently make up a substantial portion of the total . While other states like Gujarat and Bihar have enacted prohibition, quickly eliminating this source of income without alternative revenue streams could significantly impact public services and development projects according to analysts.

    In the past, the 1956 Odisha Prohibition Act banned liquor production and trade but it was never enforced. A court also dismissed a public case for prohibiting alcohol citing fears over illicit markets and increased substance abuse. As the Minister pushes for liquor restrictions, balancing public with fiscal prudence will be a challenge going forward. More discussions are expected on a gradual reduction plan that minimizes health and economic fallouts.

    For residents in recovery or against addiction, the Minister's statement is a positive step. However, the complex task of replacing lost revenues and preventing black market growth will need careful planning and stakeholder coordination to succeed. This debate has highlighted both the social and financial implications of reforming Odisha's liquor policies.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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