Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India] Apr. 11 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya on Tuesday said the government does not want to impose liquor ban in the state forcefully.
He told ANI that Shivraj Singh Chauhan-led state government has been taking small steps to make Madhya Pradesh a dry state.
"No new liquor shop has been opened in the last four years. We have decided to close all the liquor shops near Narmada River. These efforts show our desire of banning liquor in the state," Malaiya said.
Malaiya said if the liquor ban is imposed forcefully then it won't work.
"This is the reason we are trying to educate people about the disadvantages of liquor," he added.
Batting for increasing awareness against liquor, he said the NGOs should come forward to educate people about its ill-effects.
Malaiya further said that a special drive would be started very soon in the district medical centers to educate people about the dangers of liquor consumption.
He, however, refused to give a particular timeframe for a complete liquor ban in the state.
"If people stop drinking from tomorrow, we will ban it from day after tomorrow."
He said the state government is not very much concerned about the revenue of Rs. 7500 crore that will be lost post liquor ban.
"Health of people is more important for us," he said.
Following the Supreme Court order of shutting down all liquor shops falling within 500 meters from the national highways, protests against shifting of liquor shops in the residential areas are being reported from many parts like Indore, Sagar, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Vidisha, Narsinghpur, Satna, Morena, Dewas and some other towns during the past month.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had on Monday said that all liquor shops in the state would be closed in a phased manner. (ANI)