ZPM-led govt to assess Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) act 2019

ZPM-led govt to assess Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) act 2019

Aizawl: The Mizoram government will review the existing Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) or MLP Act 2019 introduced by the previous Mizo National Front (MNF) government, which imposes a blanket ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in the state except in areas of three autonomous district councils in the southern part of the state.

“The existing prohibition law, which is being used in the state, is under assessment and scrutiny. The law will be reviewed if need arises, ” state excise and narcotics minister Lalnghinglova Hmar informed the assembly on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question from opposition leader Lalchhandama Ralte of Mizo National Front (MNF), Hmar said that the government is making efforts to strengthen the excise and narcotics force.

Some vacant officer posts will be filled at the earliest and steps will be taken to purchase vehicles, arms and equipment required for investigation for the department, he said.

He said that efforts are on to upgrade the excise department office building and staff quarters.

Sticking to its pre-poll plank, the erstwhile MNF government headed by former chief minister Zoramthanga introduced the MLP Act in 2019.

The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill, 2019 was passed by the state legislature in March 2019 and the prohibition law came into force in May of that year.

The MLP Act prohibits the import, export, transport, manufacture, possession, sale and consumption of alcohol in the state barring three autonomous district councils -Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC), Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) and Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in the southern part of the state.

It replaced the 4-year-old “The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) or MLPC Act, 2014” introduced by the erstwhile Congress government, which allowed the opening of wine shops in the state.

Mizoram opened its first wine shop way back in 1984 and after 11 years of relaxation and partial prohibition, the Congress government led by Lal Thanhawla introduced “The Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995,” or MLTP Act, which imposed a complete ban on liquor.

The MLTP Act, which came into effect on February 20, 1997, was followed by successive governments including the MNF until 2014, when the new Congress government introduced the MLPC Act.

There has been debate on various platforms that the existing prohibition law needs to be reviewed as Mizoram has limited sources of revenue and many people died of alcohol consumption despite being dry state.

Mizoram health minister Lalrinpuii had recently informed the state assembly that the northeastern state registered 438 alcohol-related deaths, including 77 women, during the past 10 months since April last year.

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