Imphal: Amid the mounting protests by civil society organisations, including CADA and mothers groups demanding to revive the decision to lift the prohibition on liquor, the Manipur government has issued the Draft Manipur Liquor Regulation Policy.
The draft liquor policy stated its aims and objectives to work towards eradication of distillation, transportation, possession, consumption and sale of illicit liquor and restricting the availability of local liquor as well as IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor)/ FMFL (Foreign Made Foreign Liquor) in the state.
Other aspects include reducing the impact of illicit and adulterated liquor on health, reducing the demand for intoxicating drinks, addressing the menace of illegal drugs, generating employment and revenue of the state and address the problem of the black market in liquor on account of ‘prohibition’.
The aim of the draft policy is to restrict the availability of local liquor as well as IMFL in the state and therefore, no alcohol will be sold or served to individuals/ persons below 25 years of age. Moreover, no sale of liquor except at the outlets licensed by the government and managed by a government agency or license holder, the draft said.
Minimum distance (about 100 m) from national highways, hospitals, educational institutions and places of worship will be ensured and ‘dry days’ at least once a week and on national/ state holidays/ any day fixed by the Government will be implemented, it said.
To address the consumption and sale of illicit liquor, manufacturing and sale of local brew or country liquor inside Manipur without FSSAI certification would be prohibited, the draft said.
Also, manufacturing of local brew of country liquor would be encouraged through co-operative societies and provide technical and other support for producing quality local products.
To ensure safety standards through FSSAI certification and scientific method of
manufacturing the local brew or alcohol, a strong enforcement mechanism with enhanced revenues – Police and excise department would be put in place, mentioned the draft policy.
In order to promote awareness among the people about the harmful effects of liquor and intoxicating drinks, the draft said that the state would extend support to organisations working towards such public awareness. Moreover, rehabilitation centres would also be established, it said.
With an aim to generate employment, the draft said that the government would promote manufacturing of beer and wine from locally available fruits and materials for export and application of GI (Geographical Indication) tag to promote local products would be pursued, mentioned the draft policy.
Revenue would be generate from sale and export of local brews and from excise duties from IMFL/FMFL/ Country liquor, the draft said.
A certain percentage of revenue generated can be set apart for ‘employment generation’ schemes and projects for women and youth in the state, added the draft policy.
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