UP Excise Minister Nitin Agarwal on Thursday told the Assembly that a blanket ban on the sale of liquor in the state would lead to the sale of spurious liquor that could lead to loss of lives. He also said that such a step would have a huge impact on the state’s revenue collection.

In a written reply to a question asked by Samajwadi Party legislator Abhay Singh during Question Hour, Excise Minister Agrawal said that a “complete ban” on the sale of liquor would deprive the state of huge revenue, which could affect the development and in turn would not be in the public interest.

The matter was raised again by another SP MLA, Swami Onvesh, who said that liquor addiction was the “root cause” of all the crimes and road accidents, and asked if the government was serious on the issue and would follow the example of neighbouring state Bihar where the ban on the sale of liquor was imposed.

He also asked if the Government consider making Aadhar identity compulsory for the purchase of liquor to prevent youths from purchasing it. Minister Agrawal, in his reply, said that there is already a ban on the sale or purchase of liquor to those below 21 years of age and there is a monitoring system to ensure that. However, he said, that Aadhar cannot be made mandatory as there are set guidelines for the same by the Centre and it does not fall under the same.

(the above news was originally posted on Indianexpress.com)