Within hours of taking over, the new Mizo National Front Government on Tuesday banned sale of liquor in the Christian-majority State.
The Mizoram Government has also decided to declare December 21 to January 14 as dry days.
Immediately after leading the MNF to power in Mizoram, Zoramthanga, who was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Mizoram on Saturday, said his Government would impose total prohibition of liquor in the State as promised by his party.
The decision regarding liquor ban was taken during a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Tuesday.
The Licence/Permit for Retail Vending of Liquor has been cancelled as per section 22 (1) (b) of The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) Act, 2014.
The order issued by the Commissioner of Excise & Narcotics, Mizoram, Ngurchungunga Sailo said: “In pursuance to the decision made by the meeting of the Council of Ministers held on 18th December, 2018 and as per section 22 (1) (b) of The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) Act, 2014, I, the undersigned, hereby cancel Licence / Permit for Retail Vending of Liquor to the following: 1. Commandant 1st Bn. M.A.P., 2. Commandant 2nd Bn. M.A.P., 3. Commandant 1st IR Bn. Mualvum, 4. Commandant 2nd IR Bn. Khawzawl, 5. Commandant 5th IR Bn. Lungverh, 6. Commandant General MRHG & CD, Chawlhmun, 7. Managing Director, ZIDCO Ltd., Mizoram, Aizawl, 8. Managing Director, MAMCO Ltd., Mizoram, Aizawl, 9. Managing Director, MIFCO Ltd., Mizoram, Aizawl.”
It may be mentioned that total prohibition was imposed in the Christian-dominated northeastern State since February 20, 1997 by the then Congress Government. However, the liquor was lifted in early 2015 by enforcing the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition and Control Act, 2014.
The demand for liquor ban raised by the churches in the State was a major political issue in the last Assembly polls.
The Congress, which was against total prohibition of liquor ban, citing huge revenue earning through liquor sale, the MNF sought a complete ban and promised to lift the ban if it is voted to power.
A report published on Tuesday by Hindustan Times stated that Mizoram is set for a dry Christmas and New Year with the new Mizo National Front government’s decision to designate December 21 to January 14 as dry days as it looks set to bring back prohibition.
The report quoted Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga as saying: “We have decided to immediately stop sale of alcohol by government agencies. As for the private players, it is not possible immediately and we need legislation that will take some time. So as an interim measure we have decided that December 21 to January 14 will be dry days.”
“During this period of dry days, we hope to complete formalities and bring in legislation. If we are able to bring it, then the problem will be solved. If we cannot, than the dry days could continue,” the report further quoted the CM as saying.
“MNF always stood for prohibition. It is the Congress which lifted it the last four years,” Zoramthanga further said.