A new rule made mandatory for the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) certificate for the manufacture and sale of local yoo or country liquor inside the State. Without FSSAI certification manufacture and sale of local yoo will be prohibited.
According to a source, the draft Manipur Liquor Regulation Policy envisages various aspects such as eradication of distillation, transportation, possession, consumption, and sale of illicit liquor, restricting the availability of local liquor as well as IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) and FMFL (Foreign Made Foreign Liquor), reducing the impact of illicit and adulterated liquor on health, reducing the demand of intoxicating drinks, address the menace of illegal drugs, generating employment avenues and revenue of the state, address the problem of the black market in liquor on account of ‘prohibition’.
The draft policy aims at providing technical and other support for producing quality local products, supporting the marketing and export of the local brew/ country liquor outside Manipur, and encouraging the manufacture and sale of local yoo or country liquor through cooperative societies. The sale of IMFL/FMFL/local yoo will be restricted in other areas except at the outlets licensed by the Government and managed by a Government agency/ license holder.
A license will be issued for the sale of IMFL/ FMFL/ local yoo at specified hotels and tourist spots having minimum facilities (at least 20 rooms) and hygienic conditions, said the source.
No Liquor will be sold or served to individuals/ persons below 25 years of age. Minimum distance (about 100 m) from National Highways, hospitals, educational institutions, and places of worship will be ensured. ‘Dry days’ at least once a week and on National/State holidays/ any day fixed by the Government will be implemented.
As a measure to reduce the impact of illicit and adulterated liquor on health, safety standards through FSSAI certification and scientific method of manufacture will be ensured. A strong enforcement mechanism with enhanced revenues – Police and Excise Department will be put in place, it conveyed.
In a bid to reduce the demand for intoxicating drinks and their effects on health, the government will promote awareness among the people about the harmful effects of liquor and intoxicating drinks through IEC (Information Education and Communication) and extend support to organisations working towards such public awareness and establish rehabilitation centres.
In generating employment avenues, the government eyes on the manufacturing of beer and wine from locally available fruits like pineapple and ginger, mainly for export outside the State, manufacturing of local brew/ country liquor mainly for export outside Manipur, and applying for GI tag to promote local products outside the State.
For generating revenue for the State, the government projects to earn revenue from the sale of local yoo outside the State and from excise duties from IMFL/FMFL/ Country liquor. It is also projected that a
a certain percentage of revenue generated (say about 10-20 percent) can be set apart for ‘employment generation’ schemes and projects for women and youth in the State, the source added.
(Image courtesy – David M Mayum)