Mizoram: Cabinet allows sale of locally made grapes wine in the market
Mizoram Cabinet headed by Zormathanga

Aizawl: The Mizoram cabinet on Tuesday allowed the locally grown grapes to be processed as wine and sold in the market freely, an official statement said. 

The development came three months after a public outrage triggered by the seizure of Mizoram-made grape wine known as “Champwine” by the state excise and Narcotics department in May.

The official statement said that the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Tuesday deliberated The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Draft Rules, 2022 and resolved that the prohibition law should be continued to be implemented strictly in the state.

The meeting, however, allowed the manufacture and sale of wine from fresh grapes harvested by local farmers under the prohibition law, the statement said.

Earlier in May, there was a public outcry demanding the legalisation of the manufacture of grape wine following the seizure of huge quantities of locally processed grape wine by the state excise and narcotics department at some shops in Millennium Centre at the heart of Aizawl city.

The seizure was strongly reacted by the Champhai Grape Growers’ Society, which demanded the return of the seized bottled grape wines to the vendors in full quantities.

Society had also demanded that grape wines be sold freely.

The public outrage has apparently delayed the publication of The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Draft Rules, 2022, which was already approved by the cabinet in its previous meeting, in the official gazette.

Opposition Congress workers had staged a demonstration in Aizawl in July demanding the resignation of the Excise and Narcotics minister following the death of a woman vendor, whose grape wine bottles worth over Rs. 22 lakh were seized by the department in May.

Congress had alleged that the woman died of anxiety due to her losses.

Five years after wine shops were opened legally in Mizoram under the erstwhile Congress government, the state swung back to a dry in 2019 as the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by Zoramthanga implemented The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Act, 2019 fulfilling its pre-poll promises.

The MLP act came into force in May 2019.

Under the new prohibition law, selling, manufacture, consumption and export of liquor and any liquid containing alcohol is prohibited.

Natural grapes are mainly grown in Champhai and Hnahlan areas in eastern Mizoram.

Locally processed grape wines were sold freely under compassionate ground till the seizure in May.

Meanwhile, the cabinet also agreed to provide a 15 per cent dearness allowance and medical allowance to nearly 5,000 employees under Samagra Shiksha.

It also agreed to provide 10 per cent Dearness Allowance to all contractual employees working in various departments under the state government. 

Among others, the cabinet also approved the sports incentive cash award scheme 2022 for sports persons, the setting up of Mizoram Startup Mission (Govt. Society) and the conversion of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) into District Rural Development Office (DRDO).

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