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‘Prohibition impractical, won’t work’

shik (Maharashtra), Feb 9: At a time when there is talk of introducing prohibition across the country, a top Indian wine-maker says the concept has never worked and never will. Rather, efforts should be made to promote wine and beer to wean the people away from hard liquor. “Some states have imposed prohibition in the past and the move has been a massive failure. When will the governments realise that to enjoy a social drink is not same as gulping down liquor,”  Rajeev S. Samant, CEO of Sula Vineyards, said in an interview.

“If there are five million people in a state, out of which one million are alcoholics, that can’t be a reason to tell one and all that you can’t have drinks. Imposing a blanket ban is a stupid idea,” he asserted, mincing no words. Reinforcing his contention, he said that imposing prohibition also means the loss of thousands of crores of rupees in taxes, which help in raising infrastructure, providing medical facilities and education to the people and improving water resources, among others. The only people to benefit from prohibition are the liquor mafias, who get a situation conducive to selling the same liquor at double and triple its price, he said. “Liquor sells before prohibition, it sells after prohibition… It’s just that the beneficiaries change — from the exchequer to liquor mafias.” (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita