Bihar: Alcohol Control Boosts Economic, Social Development
Two new studies show that alcohol control in Bihar has resulted in positive economic and social development. After Bihar, located in North-East India, introduced an alcohol ban analysis shows a reduction in criminal cases, increases in female empowerment, and increases in household spending on food and clothes, instead of harmful products like alcohol.
For example, household spending on food increased by 32%. Women reportedly feel their opinions were valued more and families were investing more in health promoting goods and behaviours. 19% of households acquired new assets from the money they had spent on alcohol before. Sales of furniture rose by 20% and sales of sports goods by 18%.
These figures show that alcohol control, regulating affordability and availability, has positive effects for communities and socities – both in terms of economy and social development.
The studies were commissioned by the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar and conducted by the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) and the Development Management Institute (DMI).
Other findings are:
- The sale of expensive sarees rose by 1,751% and expensive dress materials rose by 910%;
- Consumption of honey has increased by 380%;
- Sales of butter milk rose by 40%;
- Sales of flavored milk and lassi increased by 28.4% and 19.7% respectively;
- Consumption of cheese rose by 200% in the first six months after the alcohol ban had been introduced.
With regard to reduction in crime, the studies found significant improvements.
- Kidnappings for ransom decreased by 67%;
- Murder rates fell by 28%;
- Rates of violent robberies fell by 2%.