The Modi Government Is Now Planning To Reduce Sale And Consumption Of Alcohol Across India
The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi has unveiled plans of reducing alcohol sales across the country and has already drawn up a strategy to bring down alcohol consumption – and with it alcohol harm – in India.
Two major stakeholders in the government’s “Reduce Alcoholism” initiative are the Ministry of Health Affairs and the Ministry of Social Justice. They have stated that it is imperative that health problems arising from alcoholism be tackled immediately. They proposed “taxation by alcohol content as an efficient intervention”, as this would help to curb “social problems such as domestic violence and suicide” which have become a primary concern and are increasing.
Together the ministries make the case that:
“Alcohol control is of paramount importance.
“For every rupee that the government earns from a bottle of alcohol, it loses more than four rupees in healthcare expenses and wasteful productivity.”
Government officials are looking at a common tax that is monitored and handled by the central government and that the states should not be allowed to decide the pricing policies for alcohol.
The Prime Minister’s Office had asked the Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC) – a member of IOGT International – to compile figures that establish the links between alcohol use and a number of social, economic and public health harms.
The evidence provided by ADIC India showed that 35% of crimes, 50% of road traffic accidents and 55% of domestic violence cases were linked to alcohol.
The government has also realised that women provide unequivocal support to opposing the menace and hence has proposed women should form the bedrock for the new measures.
“Women’s voice is of utmost importance. [They] have often vented their ire on issues of rising cases of alcoholism and drunken deaths on the highway,” said an official from the government party RSS.