Vol. 4 Num 80 Fri. August 15, 2003  
Letters to Editor

Liberalising alcohol policy

Chemically and medically, alcohol is a central nervous system relaxant and depressant. Alcohol had been, is being used in the society from time immemorial. Apart from the industrial uses, the human grade variety i.e. ethyl alcohol is extensively used in allopathic, homeopathic and traditional medicine system.

Every country and culture consumes alcohol for various reasons and occasions. Alcohol, in various forms, is part of culture in most of the countries. From time immemorial the farmers of our country consume weak strength alcohol in the form of Panta bhat (fermented boiled rice). The actions of alcohol lie in how someone consumes -- how rapidly, how frequently, quantity, etc.

Alcohol is less harmful than the cannabis, phensedyl, morphine, cocaine, heroin etc. -- available and duty free (!) now a days. Alcohol is overtly and covertly consumed in large quantity in Bangladesh by a large number of people. Lot of people actually died or became blind from consuming adulterated alcohol.

Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, UAE, Malaysia etc. have liberal alcohol policy.

Allowing breweries, distilleries in Bangladesh will have the following positive effects.

The government will earn huge revenue from this sector, from which it were being deprived, this will contribute to economy and employment.

People will have access to a harmless/ less harmful relaxant.

There will be less drug-related crimes.