The National- Friday, January 28, 2011
By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
LIQOUR ban imposed on businesses in Madang is into its ninth month with pressure mounting from private and public sectors to lift the ban and allow for business to earn income.
Since imposing the ban last May, the provincial government has lost over K150,000 in internal revenue; however, a source at the provincial headquarters said the loss in revenue had not impacted on the province’s budget.
“This is because we were very fortunate to meet budget focus of K100,000 for last year from January to May last year which offset last year’s revenue target for liquor,” said the source.
He claimed, however, that although the ban had achieved its purpose of minimising alcohol-related crimes in the province, the prolonged ban has now triggered an increase in the illegal sale of alcohol brought in from Lae, Morobe.
“After assessing the situation, a policy submission was submitted to provincial executive council (PEC) for the liquor licensing office to lift the ban. PEC meeting today is expected to include discussions and decision to either lift or extend the ban,” said the source.
The ban was imposed in response to reports received by the provincial government from law and order sectors of escalating liquor-related crimes.
Reports revealed school-aged children were consuming alcohol, women and girls were being harassed by drunkards in public places and there was a rise in poverty because employed family members were spending more money on alcohol and not attending to their family needs.