After a gap of 4 years, Mizoram again goes ‘dry’ from Tuesday
Mizoram has once again become a “completely dry state” following a new liquor law that prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol.Updated: May 28, 2019 18:35 IST
Ending over four years of relaxation in rules, Mizoram turned into a dry state again on Tuesday with coming into effect of a new liquor law that bans sale and consumption of alcohol.
The Mizo National Front (MNF) government, which came to power last year with prohibition as one of its main promises, had passed the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill 2019 in the state assembly on March 20 this year.
But the new legislation, which replaced the 4-year-old Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, (MLPC) couldn’t be implemented immediately due to the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls and legal issues.
“The model code of conduct as well as the high court granting time till May 27 to liquor sellers to dispose existing stock led to delay. The new legislation will come into effect from Tuesday,” said Mizoram excise and narcotics minister K Beichhua.
The new law would prohibit import, export, transport, manufacture, possession, sale and consumption of alcohol in the state except in the three autonomous district councils.
Mizoram with a population of 1.1 million (2011 census) has 43 liquor shops, 3 bonded warehouses, 2 bars, and a microbrewery and earns around Rs 70 crore revenue annually from liquor.
The new move hasn’t impressed the opposition Congress, especially former chief minister Lal Thanhawla who was instrumental in introducing the regulated sale of liquor in the state in 2015.
“We allowed the controlled sale of liquor as prohibition has never been successful anywhere in the world. Prohibition was imposed in Mizoram earlier as well, but it led to smuggling and easy availability of illicit liquor. The move by the MNF government is a populist one aimed at pleasing certain sections,” Lal Thanhawla said.
Interestingly it was an earlier Congress government led by Lal Thanhawla himself which introduced the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act 1995, (implemented in 1997) which had led to a ban on liquor 13 years after the first liquor shop opened in the state in 1984.
Successive governments in the state including those led by the MNF had continued with the law till 2015 when Congress allowed controlled sale of liquor in the state through the MLPC Act.
“Despite what opposition may say we will ensure enough measures to controlling smuggling and sale of illicit liquor. Our government’s move to ban alcohol will lead to improved health, especially among youth, and also reduce instances of domestic problems due to the consumption of liquor,” Beichhua said.
First Published: May 28, 2019 15:30 IST