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Manipur cabinet gives nod to partially lift liquor prohibition

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IMPHAL, Sept 21: The cabinet of Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh has decided to partially lift the ban on brewing, consumption and sale of liquor to boost the state’s revenue as well as minimise health hazards caused by the consumption of illicit alcohol.

The prohibition will be lifted from all the district headquarters including Imphal city, tourist destinations, hotels with at least 20-bed lodging facilities and camps of security forces, Tribal Affairs and Hills Development minister Letpao Haokip told reporters on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting.

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However, those transporting liquor from one place to another would require possessing a permit, he said.

The minister said the partial lifting of prohibition would generate at least Rs 600 crore of annual revenue.

The decision, however, was also taken in view of health hazards caused by the consumption of illicit liquor, he said.

A massive public movement had led the state government to enact prohibition through the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991, which was later amended in 2002.

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Following the promulgation of the Act, sale, brewing and consumption of liquor were banned for all residents barring people from the SC and ST communities who traditionally brew it.

However, despite the ban, liquor consumption could not be effectively controlled and alcohol remained widely available.

The state government is also mulling to export traditionally brewed liquor from the villages of Sekmai and Andro which are renowned for it.

The Manipur government had recently sent a cabinet sub-committee to Goa to study scientific liquor brewing for export. (PTI)

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