The lifting of the prohibition ban by the Biren-led government is the right decision for Manipur’s future. Only a government with a political will can take such bold steps. Leave aside earning Rs 600 crores annually from the taxes, we will get the best alcohol in the State which is beneficial to health.
When Japanese Sake is the pride of Japan, Feni is the pride of Goa, why can’t our Sekmai and Andro Yoo be the pride of Manipur? Let us think of the positive side and optimism of the government’s policy, rather than criticizing the latest policy which will groom more wine entrepreneurs in the State.
Though there are certain civil society organizations like the Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol (CADA) and several Meira Paibi have been giving a series of public meetings and hectic drive against Alcohol and Drugs in the State, almost 47.9 percent of the population aged above 15 years consumes liquor in the State. Surprisingly, the dry state is one of the leading liquor-consuming states in the Country.
The criticism from the opposing Congress party blaming the government for lifting the liquor ban is unreasonable. The long 15 years of Congress rule has never tried to implement the already existing Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 seriously. Congress government led by Okram Ibobi knew that lifting the liquor ban in the State will earn revenue of around Rs 500 crore per year. Ibobi was having more than 48 MLAs supporting his government, yet he lack the political will to lift the ban on liquor and paved way for Manipur’s future.
CM N Biren is quick to study the present social evils like drinking adulterated alcohol, and unregulated liquor imported from neighboring States and Myanmar. Even, under the nose of the Excise Department, several illegal liquor manufacturing factories were found running, which pose threats and injurious to health.
A report by FSSAI is worrisome since most of the sample of alcohol collected for testing shows a high level of volatile acid content which surpassed the normal permissible range of 100 g/100 litres. The same of yoo collected from Lamphel Sana Keithel contains 247.7419 grams per 100 litres while the sample collected from Pallel Lamkhai contains 209.6177 which is much higher than the normal total ester content of 100 g/100litres respectively.
The Manipur Liquor prohibition Act has exempted the members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people to brew liquor for traditional purposes. When the Meitei is demanding inclusion in the Schedule Tribe list of the Indian Constitution, the relaxation of Liquor prohibition seems perfect timing, rather an opportunity for the Demand Committee to support the government’s stand on lifting the ban on alcohol in the state.
Vehemently opposing the government announcement for the legalization of alcohol in the State seems some sections of the people are against the inclusion of Meitei in the Schedule Tribe list and they are indirectly going against the relaxation of liquor law. When the road to Meitei becoming a scheduled tribe is very close, brewing liquor seems a normal traditional right of the people.
Therefore, we may assume that the Biren government has the political will to go ahead and decide the fate of the people. He assures a regulated Manipur liquor law which will give more health safety and protection to people.
Let us keep trust in the Biren-led government and support the legalization of the sale and brewing of alcohol in the State for a healthier, prosperous, and contribute to Manipur’s future!
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