Bihar: Expensive saree sales increase by 1,751% after liquor ban
Alcohol prohibition is making people of Bihar spend on good clothes and food with the sale of expensive sarees rising 1,751%, consumption of honey by 380%, and cheese by 200% in the first six months of the ban. Studies conducted by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) and government-funded Development Management Institute (DMI) also pointed out that 19% of households acquired new assets. Here's more.
Both the ADRI and DMI studies were commissioned by the state to evaluate consequences of prohibition, which came into force in April 2016 "mainly as a response to demands of rural women who suffered because of the widespread practice of drinking alcohol".
The ADRI study noted an impressive rise in the sale of buttermilk (40%), flavored milk (28.4%) and lassi (19.7%). The study further stated that spends on expensive dress materials increased by 910%, processed food (46%), furniture (20%), and sports goods (18%). After prohibition, 5% money was spent on renovating houses. The study also observed that 58% of women feel they were given more respect.
The DMI study, based on primary data collected from 2,368 households in five districts of Nawada, Purnea, Samastipur, West Champaran, and Kaimur, noted that families reported a weekly expenditure of Rs. 1331 on food after prohibition, compared to Rs. 1005 before the ban, implying an increase of 32%. 22% of women felt that their opinion was now counted for household matters, village issues.
On the crime front, the ADRI report noted there was a 66.6% dip in cases of kidnapping for ransom, followed by 28.3% dip in murder cases and 2.3% in dacoity. Reportedly, there were at least 44 lakh alcoholics in Bihar and each of these was spending around Rs. 1,000/month on alcohol. On this basis, at least Rs. 440cr was saved every month.