Aizawl: Drafting of prohibition bill to replace the existing Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) or MLPC Act, 2014 is on the verge of completion, state excise minister Dr K Beichhua said on Sunday.
Beichhua said that officials of state excise department and law experts are currently working on the bill to ensure that it is being tabled in the upcoming session.
He said that experts in the state’s law department and officials of excise department recently convened a joint meeting on the clause and features of the draft bill, which was referred to law department for revision.
He added that the law department is currently working on revision of the bill.
The minister said that the prohibition bill will be tabled for legislation in the upcoming budget session to be held from 12 March.
Before the assembly polls held on November 28 last year, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) headed by chief minister Zoramthanga had promised that it would bring back total prohibition, if it comes to power.
Beichhua said the government is committed to its pre-polls promises of imposing prohibition on sales of alcohol. Chief minister Zoramthanga had also said that his government would legislate a stringent law to ban liquor.
He had alleged that many youths and policemen died and many women became widow and children turned into orphan due to sales of liquor by Lal Thanhawla led Congress government during three years.
The Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995 which imposes complete ban on sales of alcohol was introduced by Lal Thanhawla led Congress government in 1997 and came into force for about 17 years till 2015.
The previous MNF governments which was in power between December 1998 and December 2008 had followed the same law.
After Congress captured power for the second consecutive term in 2013, it conceived the idea of relaxing liquor with some restriction.
Subsequently The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) Bill, 2014 was enacted in the state legislature amid strong opposition from opposition parties, churches and civil societies.
The MLPC Act, which allow opening of wine shop came into force in January 2015 and the first wine shop was opened in the state in March that year .