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In the tug-of-war between India’s states and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s federal government for cash to fight the coronavirus outbreak, liquor has become the latest battleground.

A well-known teetotaler, Modi banned alcohol sales during the country’s national lockdown to contain the virus, blocking a crucial source of direct tax income for states already struggling to ramp up health infrastructure and provide food to millions left jobless. The loss of liquor tax revenues — an estimated 7 billion rupees ($92 million) a day — have prompted calls from states like Punjab to lift the ban.

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