On January 9, the government released a draft notification that proposed to reduce the age of buying alcohol from 21 to 18. But the plan has been scrapped now.
Story so far: The initial proposal was based on recommendations from the Yashwanth committee, as at least 4-5 states in India have the minimum age to buy alcohol as 18. The Karnataka government also made this decision after pressure from the liquor industry.
- This decision led to various criticisms from health professionals, experts, academics as well as parents. They argued that it would increase reckless drinking behaviour and also lead to the illegal consumption of alcohol by minors.
- After acknowledging the negative feedback from citizens and experts, the state minister has instructed senior officials to stick to 21 years in both the Excise Act and Excise Rules.
Open for recommendations: The state minister urges that since the draft is already published, it will stay open to comments from the public for 30 days. But the announcement restricting the age to buy alcohol to 21 years will be made soon after.