Who is the fan of the Big Ban? The recent ban on liquor in Kerala surely left many thinking who the beneficiaries of the ban culture of India are. Why governmental agencies become so overzealous in bringing in these bans and what are the real consequences? There are two things directly associated with a ban – moralistic need to impose the ban and administrative ease to enforce the ban, sadly they never go in tandem. A ban might make products illegal but doesn’t really make the demand disappear. How enforceable one could think Kerala liquor ban can be? When government bans such a product, other players enter – the hoarder and source of the banned illegal substance. Since they have been operating beyond the ambit of law and essentially are indulged in a criminal act, they put a premium over the mark up of the product resulting in price to sky rocket. Existing demand breeds the brood called black market. While government lost its tax revenue from the banned product, private black marketer’s cash boxes start filling up as the consumers now pay inflated price and since its illegal black marketers don’t even have to pay taxes. Certainly there are some consumers who cannot afford the inflated price, but this doesn’t essentially reduce the demand instead opens market to one more player – the producer of cheaper alternative version of the banned product. While these two cousins flourish in an unregulated market schema; the government also incurs cost on enforcing of bans, controlling black markets and fake products. Government needs to compensate for the lost tax revenue and newly incurred cost. It does this by increasing taxes on other mass necessities like transport, road or any other service in its ambit. The ban falls as a double strike on the consumer who is now paying a premium on banned product and is burdened with rising costs of necessities. The cheaper duplicate product in the market also starts showing its effect and smuggling of originals from neighbouring states becomes rampant. Together these things start taking a toll on the economy and slowly an unrest among affected masses start brewing. While some bans last long most get repealed at the end of the cycle. So what actually happens with such a ban? In the short term the money which should have gone to government gets diverted to private hands through illegal transactions and hence goes into the black money pool. The lasting effect which remains is the rise of the black markets, which the government, if driven enough, would take another decade to uproot by spending a lot of the taxpayer’s money on it.