Imphal: Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar has started inspecting distilled indigenous country (DIC) liquor. This step comes in a bid to legalise the production and sale of country-made liquor in the state.
A select committee, formed under the chairmanship of Deputy CM Joykumar, inspected two DIC manufacturer units at Sekmai Awang Leikai and Phayeng in Imphal West on Wednesday.
The Deputy CM spoke to media and said that the team inspected the DIC manufacturer units to see if the manufacturing process and premises as well. The team checked if the local liquors were clean and not toxic as well as to form an opinion.
The Deputy CM added that DIC liquors form an integral part of Manipuri customs and traditions, as well as serve as a source of income for the local people. He further added that every household in Sekmai and Phayeng has a distillery of their own. He said that despite the manufacture of DIC liquor, foreign made alcohol is being imported and consumed in the state.
"We'll discuss how to promote our DIC liquors for sale outside the state and to tap the natural skill of the local people," Deputy CM Joykumar added.
Deputy CM Joykumar said that the Select Committee will hold a discussion on Thursday to discuss the implementation of Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, and has sought opinions and suggestions on the same.
The state assembly, on January 22, informed that the Select Committee is assessing the Prohibition Bill. The bill proposes to enable manufacturing of alcoholic liquor for sale outside the state.
Meanwhile, the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) issued a statement on January 23rd stating that the Manipur Government should not take any steps on legalising alcohol. CADA said Manipur began to suffer the impact of alcohol abuse since the increase in consumption of alcohol started to rise from the 1970s. Amid many organisations including 'Meira Paibis' movement against alcohol to save future generation, the Government had declared Manipur a dry State by enacting The Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991.
According to the National Family Health Survey 2019-2020 report, Manipur ranked third in alcohol consumption.