After Manipur cabinet decided to partially lift the prohibition on liquor two months ago, the state authority has now invited civil society organisations, Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) and individuals of the state to submit their opinions and views if any on the state government’s decision towards lifting the prohibition on liquor through post or by hand.
As per the public notice signed by Member secretary of the Expert committee on formulation of the “White Paper on lifting prohibition of liquor in Manipur” Lamphelpat, Imphal on December 16, 2022, the CSOs/NGO/individual have been invited “to submit their opinions or views if any on the state government’s decision for lifting the prohibition on liquor through post or by hand within seven days from the publication of this Notification.”
On September 20 this year, Manipur cabinet decided to partially lift the prohibition on liquor in the state considering the alarming health issues arising out of the consumption of unregulated liquor.
As per the decision, the prohibition was lifted only at district headquarters, tourist areas and hotels with not less than 20 (bed) rooms.
The government said the move is to prevent serious health issues such as liver and kidney diseases after the consumption of unregulated products, stressing on the fact that there are many people in the state suffering from liver and kidney diseases after consuming unregulated liquor.
Manipur was declared a dry state in 1991 after enacting Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991.
With the enactment of the Act, Manipur officially became a dry state, with an exemption granted to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities to brew liquor for traditional purposes.
The state excise department was given the task to regulate and implement the prohibition.
However, despite the crackdowns by the excise department and civil society groups, alcohol continued to be available in the black market.
But the Coalition against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA), a civil society organisation in Manipur, demanded full swing enforcement of the liquor prohibition Act. It said the state had ranked fifth in the list of top alcohol consuming states as per the National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-21.CADA also demands a white paper from the government so that the public may discuss the merits and demerits of it.