Manipur No Longer A Dry State; Government Lifts Liquor Ban
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The state government of Manipur has landed on the decision to withdraw the long-standing liquor ban for the most part, after it has undergone a three-decade long dry spell. The cabinet, dominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to the conclusion of lifting the ban as a way of increasing revenue output as well as discouraging the sale of bogus alcohol across the many different parts of Manipur. This means that the manufacture, possession, transport, purchase, sale, consumption, export and import of liquor has now been allowed as a result of this decision.

A gazette notification officiating the announcement stated that, “In exercise of the power conferred under proviso to sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 (Manipur Act No 4 of 1991), the government of Manipur hereby withdraw the said Act from the areas of the state of Manipur.” Although the lifting of the liquor ban is a relatively new development, the ban was partially lifted during September 2022, permitting the sale and consumption of liquor at district headquarters and hotels that housed a minimum of 20 beds or more.

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Along with this, the export of traditionally brewed liquor was permitted through the course of the partial allowance. The liquor ban in Manipur occurred as a result of rising concerns raised by women-led social groups who highlighted domestic violence issues and other social menaces were on the rise due to alcoholism. The ban was also furthered by the separatist organisation – People’s Liberation Army of Manipur. The regulation of alcohol sales and distribution is estimated to earn the state a revenue of 600 crores annually. As of now, a select few areas of the state stand to benefit as a result of the ban being lifted, as resistance from groups like the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) and the All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation continue to persist.