Putting at rest all speculations and controversies over possible discontinuation of prohibition of liquor in the state, the Nagaland government on Tuesday clarified that no decision was taken yet to lift the existing ban since there was no consensus on the issue.
Excise minister M C Konyak informed the members on the opening day of the budget session that the government had only held "an informal consultation" with leaders of political parties, NGOs and civil society organizations on July 1 on the prohibition act where diverse views were expressed by the participants on the issue, but no conclusion was arrived at.
He clarified that since there was no consensus on the issue, the government at this stage cannot lift the prohibition, which has been in effect in Nagaland since 1989.
The minister, however, admitted that due to several factors coupled with shortage of manpower in the excise department the ban has not been a complete success in the state which borders Assam where the liquor is not banned and easily available.
During the question hour, Congress MLA Hewoto Awomi asked the government to clarify its stand on the matter in view of strong protests from Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) and women organizations against possible lifting of the ban following the July 1 consultation.
Of late, there was demand from certain quarters, including political parties, in favour of lifting the prohibition, arguing that such bans were never been successful in any part of the country and the state was only losing huge revenue, but the churches were opposing any such move.