TODAY -

JD (U) opposes
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 07 2023: The Janata Dal (United) Manipur State Unit has expressed strong opposition to the BJP-led State Government's recent approval of legalisation of liquor sale in the State.

Members of JD(U) MSU expressed their satnd during a press briefing held at the residence of Kshetrimayum Biren, president JD(U) MSU near 2nd Manipur Rifles Gate, North AOC, Imphal.

Speaking to the media, the JD(U) MSU president decried the State Cabinet's approval of the manufacture, production, possession, export, import, transport, purchase, sale and consumption of liquor in the State.

JD(U) MSU strongly opposes this move, he said.

The import, export and wanton sale and consumption of liquor will have adverse impact on the public, especially the youth, he maintained and appealed to the State Government to revoke the Cabinet decision.

Pointing out that womenfolk of the State, civil society organisations and local clubs have consistently opposed sale, purchase and consumption of liquor, Ksh Biren asserted that the party will support any step taken by these groups against the Cabinet decision.

Referring to the ongoing crisis, he stated that many people who were previously engaged in both skilled and unskilled labour in the hill regions of Manipur have been unemployed for the last 6/7 months and the State Government should provide them with some form of assistance.

Meanwhile, Dr Nimaichand Luwang, JD(U) MSU senior spokesperson and National Executive Member strongly condemned the December 4 massacre at Leithao village under Machi police station in Tengnoupal district wherein the lives of 13 Meitei youths were mercilessly cut short.

He asserted that the State Government should bear responsibility for the deaths of the 13 youths as they were killed because of the 7-month long conflict and their Meitei identity.

If the Government had undertaken stringent steps to control the unrest, their lives may have been spared.

Critiquing the Cabinet decision to legalise sale of liquor, Dr Nimaichand Luwang questioned if the revenue of Rs 600 crore that the State stands to earn can be bartered with the lives of Manipuri youth.

The JD(U) MSU senior spokesperson also commented on the festivity hosted by BJP Manipur Pradesh in connection with BJP's three-State win in the recent Assembly polls, calling the celebration inappropriate and ill-timed.

He urged the BJP to remember that the womenfolk of the State had forgone the celebration of one of the biggest festivals "Ningol Chakkouba" this year in consideration of the current state of affairs.

As the BJP is at the helm at both the Centre and the State, Dr Nimaichand Luwang urged the BJP leaders to focus on resolving the protracted conflict first.

On the other hand, Oinam Nabakishore, JD(U) MSU vice president and former Chief Secretary elaborated on the devastating economic impact of the ongoing crisis.

Manipur's GST (Goods and Services Tax) collection for financial year 2022-23 stood at Rs 1434.96 crore, while VAT (Value Added Tax) collected from fuel etc for the same period was Rs 427.66 crore.

However, since May 3 of this year due to the eruption of violence, these collections have been roughly reduced by half, he claimed.

State GST and VAT collection for April, 2023 were Rs 164 crore and Rs 45.24 respectively.

In stark contrast, for the month of May, the GST and VAT collections came down to Rs 78 crore and Rs 32 crore, he said.

Under better circumstances, Manipur would have earned Rs 1970 crore and Rs 261 crore in GST and VAT collections for FY 2023-24 .

Unfortunately, the State has suffered a loss of approximately Rs 1090 crore as a result of the conflict and this will greatly affect the State's finances, said the former Chief Secretary.

Further, he highlighted the decline in the State's GDP and subsequently the per capita income of the citizens.

The ongoing unrest has also severely upset small businesses, daily wage earners and passenger service drivers.

Drivers plying along routes such as Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Jiribam have sold off their vehicles due to the prolonged crisis and inability to continue their work, he added.

In addition, a sum of Rs 8 crore was collected in GST from vehicle registration every month.

However, this figure has dropped to Rs 2 crore as showrooms in the State do not have any vehicles in stock and bringing in new vehicles is proving to be challenging.

With all these losses, the State has gone backwards by 10 years in terms of finances, opined Oinam Nabachandra.

The press briefing was also attended by former Minister Dr Khwairakpam Loken and vice presidents of JD(U) MSU.


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