Amid protests from different sections of society, the Mizoram government finally lifted the ban on purchasing liquor after 18 years. Home and Excise Minister R Lalzirliana stated that the Government has so far issued permits to 56,631 people to buy alcohol from 22 retail shops in Mizoram.
Meanwhile, Mizoram’s Finance Minister, Lalsawta said, ‘Prohibition does not work; in the last 18 years, the State has lost revenue due to ban onliquor, on the other hand, people have drunk adulterated liquor and fallen sick’.
‘Liquor is part of Mizo tribal traditions and zu, the local brew, was used for social ceremonies until prohibition was enforced by the Mizoram Government – under heavy pressure from the powerful Church,’ another leader of the ruling party said, adding, ‘Even though at first the Church had resisted the opening of liquor shops, it eventually relented as the Government ensured that a new law is passed which includes stringent measures against drunken driving and drinking in public’.
He further said that sale of liquor will increase revenue, besides prohibition has also not worked in the nearby States of Nagaland and Manipur, as liquor is smuggled in from neighbouring Assam.
However, different civil society organisations have vehemently opposed the State government’s initiative by saying that the step will spoil the young generation of the state. It is to be mentioned here that the Assam government is also taking stringent measures against drunken driving and public drinking.