Mumbai: In an effort to discourage youths from liquor addiction, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday raised the minimum age bar of drinking beer to 21 years and hard liquor to 25 years.

In a meeting, Maharashtra Cabinet took unanimous decision regarding the minimum drinking age for beer and hard liquor although it kept quiet on fixing any age bar  on wine drinkers.

State Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan said that the main motive behind this was to reduce the addiction of alcohol in people. “The government wants to ban the sale of illegal alcohol as deaths are reported after consuming it in the state,” he said.

According to Cabinet decision, if any one is caught selling illegal alcohol in any area, stringent action would be initiated against the concerned Excise and Police authorities.

“To reduce alcohol consumption, the state government will release various advertisements and launch campaigns. It will also highlight the ill effect of alcohol in text books,” Chauhan added. He claimed that even females will come forward to provide their assistance in the matter.

Chauhan noted that the present laws to stop alcoholics were not effective as they had limitations. He maintained that despite the restrains, the state government is making the required efforts on its end.

Though the state Cabinet raised the age limit for beer consumption and hard liquor,it failed to take any decision reagrding wine.

It is believed that the Cabinet has avoided decision on wine owing to some political reasons as wine production in the state is the highest and few years back NCP chief Sharad Pawar had advocated for selling wine in grocery stores.

JPN/Bureau