What are the estimated economic and social costs?
Strong efforts are made in many countries to estimate the overall economic and social costs of alcohol use.
Social and economic costs cover the negative economic impacts of alcohol consumption on the material welfare of the society as a whole.
They comprise both direct costs – the value of goods and services delivered to address the harmful effects of alcohol, and indirect costs – the value of personal productive services that are not delivered as a consequence of drinking.
In industrialized countries, estimates of social and economic costs of alcohol use can reach several percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ranging for instance from 1.1% in Canada to 5-6% in the case of Italy.
Estimates of social and economic costs can help:
- make the case for public policies on alcohol,
- target policies and public expenditure on the most important problems (e.g. the costs of alcohol versus other psychoactive drugs such as tobacco),
- identify information gaps,
- assess the effectiveness of policies and programmes against alcohol abuse.
Estimating the costs of the impact of alcohol on the material welfare of society is often difficult and requires estimates of the social costs of treatment, prevention, research, law enforcement, lost productivity and some measure of years and quality of life lost.
Alcohol is a subject in the State List under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Therefore, the laws governing alcohol vary from state to state.
Liquor in India is generally sold at liquor stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, clubs and discos. Some states, like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, prohibit private parties from owning liquor stores making the state government the sole retailer of alcohol in those states.
In some states, liquor may be sold at groceries, departmental stores, banquet halls and/or farm houses. Some tourist areas have special laws allowing the sale of alcohol on beaches and houseboats.
Home delivery of alcoholic beverages is illegal in Delhi.However, Delhi permits home delivery of beer and wine by private vends and departmental stores. The sale of beer at departmental stores, banquet halls and farm houses, is legal in Delhi.
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