TODAY -

Considerations on to lift prohibition from Manipur: CM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 01 2022: Chief Minister N Biren has stated that his Government has been considering to lift the ban on sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the State.

Replying to a query raised by K Ranjit during the question hour today, Biren claimed that the State can earn a revenue of Rs 600 crore to 700 crore in a year if the ban on IMFL is lifted.

Ranjit asked whether the Government has a plan to legalise IMFL in the State and export the country liquor after adopting standard and scientific brewing process.

It is estimated that a revenue of Rs 600 crore to Rs 700 crore can be earned by the State through excise duty, value added tax and permit/licence fee if IMFL is legalised in the State, Biren said.

The Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 (Bill No 9) was tabled during the 11th session of Manipur Legislative Assembly and the prospect/possibility of exporting liquor brewed in the State was deliberated but the Bill has now lapsed, the Chief Minister said.

Pointing out that both IMFL and country liquor are available in every part of the State even though Manipur is officially a dry State, Ranjit asked the Government how long it would take for the Government to lift the ban on IMFL.

Questioning if the dry State tag is serving any purpose when IMFL is available everywhere in the State, the Congress MLA asked the Government if it has initiated any process to bring an understanding with those people who are opposed to legalising IMFL.

In reply, Biren said that there are reports of seizure of both IMFL and country liquor every day.

A large number of men between 35 and 50 years had died in the valley area due to consumption of spurious liquor.

As a result, the number of widows rose at an unnatural rate.

As per hospital records, the number of people who had died of liver cirrhosis is considerable, Biren said.

If the ban on liquor can ensure welfare and good health of the masses, the Government has no intention of earning revenue from the sale of liquor and the Government can always explore other sources, Biren said.

Taking all these facts into account, the matter was discussed by the State Cabinet a couple of times.

At the same time, some people have been doing big business after brewing liquor in the name ofreligion/tradition, he said.

After the Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 was tabled in the State Assembly last year, a committee was formed to verify the feasibility of the Bill on ground and the committee submitted a report of affirmation, Biren said.

The Government also considered legalising country liquor for exporting it outside the State with the help of big export companies after ensuring high standard of quality.

There is a provision in the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991 and the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Rule 1994 under which a notification can be issued for lifting the ban on liquor partially and extending the relaxation subsequently.

As such, there is no need for re-tabling the Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister stated.

He then appealed to all Members of the House, CSOs and NGOs to support the decision that may be adopted by the Government which would help save lives and at the same time generate revenue for the State.

The Government has been sending its officials to convince those people who have been opposing any attempt to lift the ban on liquor, Biren said and appealed to all the MLAs to contribute to the Government's efforts.

Biren further clarified that the Government has not yet given any permission to bottle and sell country liquor in the State.

The 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly also observed a 2-minute silence today as a mark of respect to Seikai Hrangchal, former Member of the House from 55-Tipaimukh (ST) Assembly Constituency.

Speaker of the House, Thokchom Satyabrata Singh moved a resolution regarding the demise of the former member of the House and expressed his deep sorrow.

Initiating the obituary reference, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that the demise of Seikai Hrangchal is a great loss to the State.

Born on 31st December 1937 at Rengkhai, Churachandpur district, Selkai Hrangchal was associated with various socio-cultural and economic activities.

He was elected to the 5th Manipur Legislative Assembly and inducted as Minister of Health.

Participating in the obituary reference, O Ibobi Singh, senior member of the House said Selkai Hrangchal was a man of reason and his demise is a great loss to the State and for the Constituency in particular.

Kh Joykisan, Ngursanglur and LM Khaute also participated in the obituary reference and expressed their deep sorrow on the demise of Selkai Hrangchal.


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