Imphal: After more than two decades of ban, the Manipur government has withdrawn the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, and legalised the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state.
The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister N Biren Singh on Monday, by lifting the complete ban on liquor and allowing sale and consumption of alcohol in the state.
The cabinet approved manufacture, production, possession, export, import, transport, purchase, sale and consumption of liquor eyeing to boost the economy as well as to control spurious drinks which caused health hazards.
The Manipur state has been a ‘dry’ state ever since the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, was enacted in 1991. Now, with the lifting of the banning of liquor, the state aims to earn at least Rs 600-700 crore as annual tax revenues.
On Wednesday, the official Gazette of Manipur was published by the Finance Department (Expenditure section).
“In exercise of the powers conferred under proviso to sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 (Manipur Act. No. 4 of 1991), the Governor of Manipur hereby withdraws the said Act from the areas of the state of Manipur,” reads the Manipur Gazette.
The legalisation of liquor now allows the sale and consumption of alcohol in greater Imphal, district headquarters, tourist locations, and registered hotel establishments with not less than 20 lodging rooms.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), the apex body of the Indian alcoholic beverages industry, has welcomed the Manipur government’s move to lift the prohibition on alcohol.
By ending the over three-decade-long prohibition, the Manipur government has taken a positive step forward which would not only earn Rs 600-700 crore as annual tax revenues but also help tackle the menace of the sale of illegal liquor and the spread of drugs. It is going to give a major fillip to the state’s economic growth, said CIABC Director General Vinod Giri.
This is the second time that the Manipur government legalised the sale and consumption of liquor in the state. On September last year, the government partially lifted the ban allowing sale and consumption of alcohol in district headquarters, hotels having not less than 20 beds and export of locally brewed country liquor. Also, the prohibition was exempted in tribal areas brewing liquor based on traditional and customary laws.