The Manipur cabinet on Tuesday resolved to regulate selling and brewing of liquor in Manipur as consumption of unregulated liquor has gone beyond control and has become the main factor leading to health issues such as liver cirrhosis and kidney failure cases in the state.
Highlighting a few of the important decisions taken by the Tuesday’s cabinet, state Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister Letpao Haokip informed mediapersons that the decision to lift the prohibition on sale of liquor was taken up considering the health issues caused by consuming unregulated liquor apart from income generation.
According to Letpao, regulating liquor will give Manipur a minimum revenue of Rs 600 crore per annum according to projections.
The Tribal Affairs and Hills minister explained that selling liquor at military cantonment, police battalions cannot be banned despite Manipur being a dry state and many are consuming unregulated liquor leading to various health issues.
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The normal range of alcohol present in liquor should be below 40 per cent and while testing the local liquor brew at Sekmai during the MLAs visit to Goa, it was found to contain 41.9 per cent of alcohol, he said, adding that as per experts, the Sekmai local liquor will be much better than vodka if it is regulated.
Citing the reason for regulating liquor in Mizoram a few years back to tackle the issue of drug menace despite being a Christian dominated state, the minister said regulating liquor will also be a step to save the youths from drug menace.
As per the cabinet decision, the sale of liquor will be confined only at some specific locations which include district headquarters, tourists’ spots, security camps, and hotels which have at least 20 bedded lodging facilities, he said adding, “no one will be allowed to carry liquor in other places without receipt.”
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Informing that the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991 was amended in 2002 and has already regulated the sales of liquor, the minister sought the support of the public and organisations in the decision taken by the cabinet in the interest of the health of all.
While reviewing the extension of declaration of the “disturbed area” status in the state, the cabinet had decided to maintain the status quo for a period of one-year, informed Letpao.
He further informed that considering the need of SDO in every sub-division during the upcoming ADC election and also the SDC, the cabinet had given one year relaxation for promotion of MCS, MPS and MFS officers from the five years as per the rule.
The cabinet had also decided to request the governor to prorogue the recently concluded Monsoon Assembly session which was adjourned sine die and had also approved the new Manipur Industrial and Investment Policy, he stated.
Regarding the water rate of the Water Resource Department, Letpao said that the cabinet had increased the water rate for paddy fields to Rs. 606 from Rs. 150 per annum and the water rate at vegetation fields is fixed at Rs. 200 per annum.
Taking about the transportation of quarry sands, he said that the Department of Textile, Industries and Commerce will be giving the license of quarry area and the transit permit will be given by the Forest department as per the decision taken by the cabinet.
Tuesday's cabinet was chaired by Chief Minister N Biren at his secretariat and it discussed a total of 31 agendas.
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