Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 4
Without increasing the price of liquor, the Punjab Government is hoping to maximise its excise revenue by a whopping Rs 1,000 crore. This is being done on the assumption that Punjab will continue with its drive to stop cross-border smuggling of liquor.
In the ongoing financial year, after the hooch tragedy at Amritsar in July, the government has been successful in enforcing the law by controlling liquor smuggling from outside the state as well as checking the pilferage from the distilleries located within Punjab. This has helped the state almost meet its target of excise collection, despite the fact that liquor business remained suspended from April to mid-June.
The Excise Policy 2021-22, which was announced by the government on Monday, has fixed the revenue to be earned at Rs 7,002 crore, mainly from additional sale of licit Punjab-made liquor (PML) and Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL).
This year, the government had targeted earning Rs 6,250 crore from excise collections. “By the end of March, our excise collection will be between Rs 5,800 and Rs 6,000 crore. This year, we have provided for concessions ranging from 5 to 10% to those contractors who lift additional quota of the PML and IMFL. As our enforcement becomes more effective through raids using decoys and technology-based checks on trucks carrying liquor from distilleries, we are
hopeful that the revenue will see a massive jump,” says A Venu Prasad, Financial Commissioner, Taxation.
Excise officials say buoyed by the success of the ‘Operation Red Rose’, an exercise conducted by the Excise Department to check smuggling from
May 17 last year, they will continue with the crackdown on smugglers and illegal liquor bottling units.