The prohibition policy of the Government aims at the moral, ethical and economic uplift of the common man and the achievement of peaceful living conditions in society. To achieve this goal the prohibition laws were enforced which prohibited the production, possession, export, import, transport, sale and consumption of all intoxicants except as permitted by rules. Prohibition was first introduced in this State in 1950. However this policy was changed in 1973 and the restrictions on consumption, use, etc. were lifted.

The Prohibition and Excise Department administers the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949; the Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955; the Spirituous Preparations (Inter-State Trade and Commerce) Control Act, 1955; the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930; Bombay Drugs Control Act, 1959; and the Bombay Opium Smoking Act, 1936.

Organisation: The Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise is the head of department. At the district level the administration is carried on by the Superintendent of Prohibition and Excise under the general control and supervision of the Collector. He is assisted by Inspector of Prohibition and Excise who are placed in charge of sub-divisions into which the district is divided. The Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors are assisted by Prohibition and Excise constables. The supervisory staff of the department is also posted at the distilleries for supervision over molasses and manufacture of spirits and Indian and foreign liquors. A Sub-Inspector of Prohibition and Excise department is also posted at each bonded manufactory in which duty-free rectified spirit is used for the manufacture of medicinal and toilet preparations.

Functions: The main functions of the department are confined to licensing, inspection of such licences and enforcement of controls enacted under various Acts. The primary responsibility of the police in offence cases remains unchanged. However, the officers of the department are empowered to prosecute independently the offences in respect of the cases detected by them instead of passing them on to the police. The staff is also responsible for supervision over bonded manufactories, warehouses, foreign liquor shops, toddy shops, neera centres and distilleries.

The regulation of consumption of various liquors is given below:

Foreign liquor: Under the Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953, framed under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, various licences are granted, viz., trade and import licence, vendor's licence, hotel licence and club licence. As per modified policy the health permits coming under the Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953, which were in existence before 1972 are now valid for an indefinite period. The holders can get, on the strength of health permit, any quantity of liquor.

Toddy: The toddy scheme was introduced in the State in 1968. Under this scheme the free sale of toddy containing not more than 5 per cent alcohol by volume is permitted. Toddy upto three litres at a time is allowed to be transported and possessed without licence for consumption.

Industrial alcohol: The Brihan Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate Ltd., Shreepur, was issued licences for the manufacture and sale of industrial alcohol in the district under the Maharashtra Distillation of Spirit and Manufacture of Potable Liquor Rules, 1966. The production of alcohol was started in June 1957 and the details of production by the Brihan Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate, Shreepur, are given below:-

Annual licensed registered capacity

Actual installed plant capacity

Actual production

Estimated production of alcohol for 1974-75
(Lakh B. Ls.)

(Lakh B. Ls.)

(Lakh B. Ls.)




(Lakh B. Ls.)







Liquor, beer and wine: After the enforcement of the Maharashtra Distillation of Spirit and Manufacture of Potable Liquor Rules, 1966, and Maharashtra Manufacture of Beer and Wine Rules, 1966, Messrs. Brihan Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate Ltd., Shreepur, has been granted licence for the manufacture of potable liquor (Indian-made foreign liquor, beer and wine). The distillery started functioning in June 1971. During 1971-72 and 1972-73 the distillery manufactured 1,03,792 and 5,89,284 litres of potable liquor.

Denatured spirit: There are three wholesale dealers of denatured spirit in Sholapur district. The number of retail dealers in the district stood at 15.

Country liquor: In order to combat effectively the illicit liquor trade in the State, cheaper liquor was made available for sale. Subsequently the Government enacted the Maharashtra Country Liquor Rules, 1973, under which distilleries holding licence for distillation of spirit and persons holding licence for possession and use of rectified spirit were permitted to manufacture country liquor.

The Brihan Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate Ltd., Shreepur, started producing country liquor in March 1973 and produced 36.68 lakh litres of liquor upto 30th June 1974. During this period it paid a duty of Rs. 118.713 lakhs to the State exchequer.