Central Alcohol Policy on Anvil
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13 November 2008
By Mahendra Kumar Singh
New Delhi, India
After banning smoking in public places, health minister Anbumani Ramadoss is planning a campaign against alcohol by bringing in a national policy to regulate its sale in the country. He, however, said that a blanket ban on liquor, like tobacco, would not be possible as it was a state subject so the policy would largely be recommendatory in nature.
Sources in the health ministry said the framework of the liquor policy would deal with issues such as pricing of alcoholic products, regulating the number of shops selling liquor, fixing their working hours and strict implementation of not selling alcohol to minors.
“The detailed outline of the policy on liquor will take some time and is likely to be completed in around six months,” Ramadoss told TOI, adding that the ministry had been seeking suggestions from experts and scientists on the policy over the past month.
The emphasis of the national policy, which will not be mandatory for states to follow, will highlight alcohol’s ill-effects on health and focus on running awareness campaigns.