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Partial lifting of liquor prohibition in Nagaland likely from new FY

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 20: The more than 30-years old Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act of 1989 is likely to see changes with the State Government almost concluding to partially lift it from the new financial year 2022-23 starting April this year.
Sources, without wanting to be identified, confirmed that the State Government constituted a committee to study the implementation of the controversial NLTP Act in the State is on the verge of completing the deliberations with various stakeholders, including civil societies and tribal bodies.
The Committee, headed by Chief Secretary J Alam, with members drawn from various Departments and civil societies, recently submitted its initial report to the State Government.
While the report is being kept as top secret, the committee members are also tight-lipped before the Government announces any decision.
However, the State Cabinet has reportedly convened a question-and-answer session with the committee and various tribal bodies on February 24 at Kohima on their recommendations.
If all goes well, it is assumed that the Government would move the proposal for partial lifting of the NLTP Act during the ensuing budget session of the State Assembly, which is scheduled to be held from March 19 to 25.
Following the rigorous pressure from the Nagaland Baptist Church Council and Naga Mothers’ Association, the State Government in 1989 decided to impose a total ban on sale of liquor in the State.
However, the Act has not been a success as liquor is plenteously available in almost every nook and corner of the State with people tagging the State as “the wettest dry state of the country”.
Despite the prohibition, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) of all quality and quantity is readily available in any district, including the State capital, for those willing to shell out the outrageous prices than that available at general taxable rate in other non-prohibition States.
It may be mentioned that there was a period even after years of the Act coming into force when the State Government used to host the customary budget dinners with copious flow of liquor.
The proposal to partially lift the liquor prohibition was apparent with the Nagaland Government setting up a committee in 2018 to review the implementation of NLTP Act in the State.
However, with the demise of the then Chairman of the committee, no progress was reportedly made while in 2019 the committee was reconstituted and it has held series of deliberations with various civil society organisations and stakeholders with the prime focus on partial lifting.
(Page News Service)