Mizoram allows sale of locally made wine | Popgen Tech
Mizoram CM Zoramthanga. File | Photo credit: Ritu Raj Konwar
More than three years after imposing a total ban, Mizoram has decided to allow the sale of wine made from locally grown grapes in markets across the State.
The decision followed massive protests after the State Excise and Narcotics Department seized bottles of local grape wine worth ₹22 in May, resulting in the death of a woman involved in the wine business.
The Mizoram Cabinet on Tuesday approved allowing the manufacture and sale of wine from freshly harvested grapes from local farmers under the provisions of the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill 2022, an official statement said.
But in the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, it was decided that the prohibition law should continue to be strictly enforced.
The public outcry over the seizure of “Champwine” from the state capital Aizawl – the wine made from grapes grown in Champhai district – is said to have delayed the publication of the draft rules in the official gazette. The Cabinet approved the rules in its earlier meeting.
Reacting to the crisis, the Champhai Grape Growers’ Society demanded the return of all the seized wine bottles to the sellers and insisted they should be allowed to sell them freely.
The Opposition Congress and other parties also slammed the government after the crisis. They also said that the State Government was responsible for bringing the woman to death out of concern over her loss.
Pressured by churches and community-based organizations, Mizoram adopted a policy of partial prohibition after becoming a Union Territory in 1972. The government allowed the opening of wine shops in 1984 under the provisions of the Mizoram Excise Act 1973 but shops and these bars. they were closed in 1987, the year Mizoram became a State.
The Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995, was enforced from February 20, 1997, until January 15, 2015, when the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control Act) 2014 was notified under the Congress government.
To fulfill its pre-poll promise, the Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front government implemented the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Act, 2019, leading to the closure of liquor shops and warehouses.
The law prohibits the sale, manufacture, consumption and export of liquor and any alcoholic liquid.