The Mizoram Legislative Assembly session passed the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition & Control (MLPC) bill 2014, on 10 July, which will replace the ‘Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995’ that has been in vogue for 17 years in Mizoram northeast state of India.
MLPC bill has been moved by Minister Pu R. Lalzirliana on the 7th session of the Assembly in 2014 and it took six hours of discussion with opposition members.
Congress minister Pu R. Lalzirliana said, “We had tried to abolish alcohol in our state by using MLTP Act. But we didn’t succeed. That is why we would like to introduce the new bill (MLPC) that will control alcohol in a better way.”
The largely Christian state, Mizoram had agreed to adopt the MLTP Act in 1995 with Church leaders in Mizoram, which was implemented on 20 January 1997.
However, statistics show that the MLTP Act could not abolish alcohol in the state instead it encouraged smuggling of alcohol from other states and neighbouring countries. Many alcohol drinkers suffer from locally made alcohol, which are not properly distilled and mixed with dangerous chemicals.
Although Church people (Synod) and local NGOs were opposed to adopting the MLPC bill 2014, the ruling party Congress has passed the bill. As the Congress has won 34 constituencies out of 40 in Mizoram, in the last Assembly election, the party has a majority.
The MLPC bill allows opening of wine shops and bars with a license. “If a person drinks alcohol and he disturbs others, the Act/Law will arrest him and fine him or imprison him, or both,” said the minister.
However, the government did not announce when the MLPC bill will come into effect in Mizoram.