- NET Web Desk
Stating that discussions are being held to determine the viability of withdrawing the liquor prohibition from Manipur, the Chief Minister – N Biren Singh informed the assembly that if liquor were to be legalized and sold, the state could generate revenue worth of Rs 600-700 crore annually; inclusive of excise duty, Value-Added Tax (VAT) and license/permit fees.
Responding to opposition MLA K Ranjit’s query on sale of alcohol, the Manipur CM asserted that The Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second amendment) Bill, 2018 (2018 bill no 9) was introduced during the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly for sale of Manipur’s indigenously-produced liquor outside the state.
Although, the Bill has now expired, and conversations are presently being held on the matter.
A follow-up question was then posed by MLA K Ranjit, who noted that despite the state being a dry one, both domestic and imported alcohol are indiscriminately sold there.
The MLA also questioned whether the government intended to consult the stakeholders, in favour of the ban.
Moreover, locally-brewed alcohol of Sekmai and Andro is being sold in neatly sealed bottles, bearing the statement ‘Not for Sale in Manipur’.
In response to the same, the CM continued that the excise department has been registering about 3,200 cases annually, and that the majority of liver disease-related deaths have been linked to the consumption of subpar or tainted alcohol.
During the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly session, a committee formed under ‘The Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 (2018 of Bill No 9)’ found a positive result on legalization of liquor in Manipur but due to untimely action, the bill has been lapsed, said the leader of the House.
He further mentioned that selling of bottled local brews similar to Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) is done by individuals and is nowhere related to the state administration. The CM, however, assured that the state government will take the matter seriously.