Condemning the state cabinet decision to lift prohibition, the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) on Wednesday demanded the government to immediately revoke the cabinet decision to regulate selling and brewing of liquor in the state.
Such a move of the state government to benefit some allied entrepreneurs will lower the morale and character of the youths, especially women, besides creating health issues in every family across the state, CADA secretary general Geetchandra Mangang said while speaking to the media at CADA office in Imphal East.
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Reacting to minister Letpao Haokip’s statement on the government's failure to control liquor consumption despite being a dry state, he said it is a sign that the government is weak and is not fit.
"Will anything which is uncontrollable be legalised? Is the government also going to legalise drugs, corruption and prostitution which is uncontrollable?" he questioned stating such a concept is not right.
Coming to the minister's statement on the projection of generating Rs 600 crore per annum if liquor is regulated, he questioned if there isn’t any other resource other than liquor to generate revenue.
He also said the government blaming liquor ban in the state as a reason for dying tourism is just a lame excuse as the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 permits foreign tourists to consume and carry liquor.
Stating that the state is running a deficit of Meitei rice, the raw material used for liquor, even for consumption purposes, he asked as to where the government is going to get the raw materials. There is also a possibility of civil war if liquor is regulated, he added.
Liquor is classified as a drug in the Manipur State Psychotropic Substance Policy, he said, adding that legalising liquor is totally contradictory to the ongoing war against drugs campaign.
The secretary general also stated the state government is two-faced - waging war against drugs on the one side and regulating liquor sales on the other.
"CADA will never allow legalising liquor as the cabinet discussion was taken in a hast without proper survey, research and discussion," he said, adding CADA had been demanding a white paper on the move to legalise liquor for a long time but the government remained silent.
Stating that CADA will be compelled to take up various forms of democratic agitations if the government does not revoke the cabinet decision to legalise liquor, the secretary general however, refused to reveal the line of action to be taken up by CADA.