‘Rs 600-700 crore will be added to Manipur income if liquor prohibition is lifted’

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Imphal: Manipur government considers to lift the prohibition of foreign liquor in the state; once the prohibition is lifted and legalized its selling, around Rs. 600-700 crores annually will be added to the state income.

This was stated by chief minister N.Biren Singh replying to a question raised by MLA K. Ranjit during the state Assembly session on Monday.

The Manipur Liquor Prohibition (2nd Amendment) Bill 2018 was introduced in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly to take steps for improving the quality of locally brewed liquor for export purposes. Although the Bill has lapsed, consideration is on to take further steps, he added.

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Biren said under Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, the state government has given the power to extend the area to ban and lift liquor’s restriction, if the said Act is converted into rules then there would be provision to legalise liquor in the state to some certain area and appealed the civil society organisation to take part in the discussion by identifying merits and demerits.

Ranjit said Manipur has been declared as ‘Dry State’ under the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 but distilled indigenous country liquor, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and others are easily available anywhere in the state. Some communities who are allowed to manufacture local liquor customarily have started bottling of local liquor similar to that of IMFL. Seeking information from the concerned minister Ranjit asked if declaring Manipur as ‘Dry State’ relevant with the present scenario.

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Biren responded that even the state can collect huge revenue on legalisation of liquor, if legalisation of liquor could bring a huge social impact on health then the state will not encourage on legalisation of liquor.

He said on an average, excise department has been registering around 3,200 cases annually. Most of the death cases related to liver diseases are found due to consumption of under quality or adulterate liquor. The state government has been discussing whether selling of liquor to legalise or not in Manipur.

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During the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly session a committee which was formed under ‘The Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 (2018 of Bill No 9)’ found a positive result on legalisation of liquor in Manipur but the due to untimely action, the bill has been lapsed, said the leader of the House.

He said selling of bottled local brews similar to IMFL is done by individuals and is not related to the state government. The state government will discussed the issue seriously.

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