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Why Punjab govt wants to market pouches of country liquor

Why Punjab govt wants to market pouches of country liquor

The Punjab government wants to introduce pouches of country liquor in the market, saying it is a “healthy substitute” to hooch. What’s the reason for this? Why pouches and not bottles? It is really healthy?

The Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab is planning to introduce pouches of country liquor in the market to curb the menace of lahan (hooch). Country liquor, it said, is a “healthy substitute” to the illegally brewed homemade liquor, and has a lesser percentage of alcohol than the brands available in the market.

Pouch liquor in Punjab: what is it?

The Punjab government wants pouches of country-made liquor with an alcohol content of 40 per cent to be available in the market. Each pouch is expected to cost between Rs 25 to 40. The move to manufacture and sell the light liquor has been included in its new excise policy for the current fiscal.

But why pouches?

The government wants to introduce pouches, as opposed to bottles, for the population, especially those in villages that consume a lot of hooch. The state has seen several hooch tragedies as the trade of illicit liquor is difficult to control. Sometimes, hooch contains methanol that is toxic for humans and can be fatal if consumed.

Hooch is sold in pouches, and is preferred by the people as it is cheaper than bottles, between Rs 25 to 40, and has a lesser concentration of alcohol — 50 to 60 per cent compared to 75 in IMFL.

Is it ‘healthy’?

The government claims country made liquor is a healthier substitute for illegally brewed homemade liquor.

“Those preparing hooch use polluted water. Since it is to be consumed as it is, it sometimes carries pathogens of various water-borne diseases. The pouches prepared in the distilleries will use potable water,” an excise official said.

Where can people buy the pouches of liquor?

The liquor pouches will be available at vends. However, the government is still studying where these should be made available.

The field officers have been entrusted with the task of giving their requirement of 40 degree country liquor based on ground inputs so that the same can be made available in illicit liquor prone areas in near future The government is also contacting distilleries so they can prepare these pouches.

©Indian Express

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