Guwahati: The Mizoram Cabinet on Saturday approved the proposed liquor prohibition bill in the state.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga chaired the Cabinet meeting held on Friday and approved the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Bill, 2019.
A government official said that the bill would be introduced in the State Assembly during the budget session starting from March 20.
The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) promised during the state assembly election held in November last year that if voted to power it would ensure total prohibition in the northeast state.
It was from 1997 to January 2015 that there was a total prohibition in the state of Mizoram with the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act in force in the state.
It was the previous Congress government of Lal Thanhawla who allowed to open the wine shops in the state from March 2015.
The MNF said that the total prohibition on liquor was one of its top three agenda as more than 500 people including policemen had died due to consumption of spurious liquor since the Congress had revoked the total prohibition in 2014.
The 18-year-old Mizoram Liquor (Total Prohibition) Act, 1995 has been revoked by the Congress government led by Lal Thanhawla and replaced it with Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, 2014, despite objections by powerful NGOs and churches.
An adult consumer is provided with a liquor permit to buy six bottles of 750 ml Indian Made Foreign Liquor under the new act. The adult consumer has also bought 10 bottles each of beer and wine a month for personal consumption. At present, there are nearly 50 authorized liquor vendors in Mizoram.
The Congress therefore, decided to replace the total prohibition as spurious liquor from neighbouring states like Assam had flooded the state markets, resulting in several deaths and even the state was not earning revenue from the “illegal” liquor business.
Liquor traders and others, however, said enforcement of the total prohibition was impossible given the fact that many became ‘habituated’ with the availability of liquor in Mizoram in the past four years.
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