The Bansi Lal-led Haryana Vikas Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in Haryana yesterday decided to lift prohibition in the state from April 1.
The decision was taken by the state cabinet and announced at a press conference by home minister Mani Ram Godara and minister for prohibition Ganeshi Lal. The new excise policy will be announced soon, they said.
Total prohibition has been in force in the state since July 1996. The ministers said that about one thousand liquor vends would be opened in the state.
Prohibition, which was imposed in Haryana on public demand, is now being lifted following a change in public view.
It was on the slogan of prohibition that Bansi Lal had led the HVP-BJP alliance to victory in the last Assembly polls.
Analysts say that prohibition could not be implemented effectively in Haryana leading to large-scale smuggling and the birth of liquor Mafia. The ministers said that law would take its own course with regard to the 88,000 cases registered for violations of prohibition laws.
The ineffective imposition of prohibition has cost the state coffer Rs 1,200 crore during the period.
Analysts say that with the lifting of prohibition, the state is bound to attract more investment, including foreign investment.