GUWAHATI, April 9 - Riding on reforms and enhanced enforcement, the excise department has registered a record revenue jump, collecting Rs 1400.12 crore (excluding VAT) in the last financial year. The revenue jump is over 25 per cent over last year�s collection of Rs 1117.64 crore and it has crossed the target of Rs 1,300 crore set by the government.
Going by the sale figures, consumption in the State also increased by around 4 per cent during the year.
During the financial year 2018-19, about 1,51,789.00 litres of illegally traded IMFL worth approximately Rs 6 crore were seized by the department.
From April 2018 to December, the number of cases of violation detected stood at 4,855. During the period, as many as 3,359 people were arrested.
�Special focus is being laid on preventing and curbing the smuggling of liquor from the neighbouring states especially from Arunachal Pradesh. We have been repeatedly requesting the Commissioner of Excise, Arunachal Pradesh to share information on liquor consignments originating from the state,� State�s Excise Commissioner Rakesh Kumar told The Assam Tribune, elaborating on the steps taken to check illicit liquor trade.
Significantly, taking a stern view of frequent reports of smuggling of liquor from Arunachal Pradesh, permission for registration of brands manufactured in the neighbouring state is not being given now and permits for import and export of liquor from and to Arunachal have been stopped.
The Excise Commissioner said regular stock taking and monthly inspections of the manufactories and wholesale warehouses are also being carried out to ensure that provisions of the Excise Act and rules are strictly complied with by the licensees concerned.
�Steps have been initiated for online monitoring of stock of Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) and finished goods in the manufactories. Instructions have been issued to all manufactories to introduce flow meters and also digi-locks in the vehicles carrying consignments of ENA and finished goods. Such measures are helping the department in monitoring the stock of liquor and in preventing revenue leakage,� he said.
The State Excise Minister�s PRO Sailendra Pandey said steps have been taken to ensure that IP CCTV cameras are installed in all the manufactories and wholesale warehouses.
During the year, the licences of one manufactory and 12 wholesale warehouses were suspended for violation of licence conditions. Huge fines were also imposed on two other manufactories.
There are two distilleries, two breweries, 18 IMFL bottling plants, 78 bonded warehouses and 2,084 IMFL retail units in the State.
Besides, there are nine country liquor manufacturers, 44 wholesale units and 539 country liquor retail shops.
Pandey said some other reforms implemented by the department include rationalisation of licence fee structure, the number of dry days, opening and closing time of liquor shops, etc. These reforms are expected to curb influx of liquor from the neighbouring states and thereby enhance collection of excise revenue of the State, he said.
�The entire system of permit application and issuance has been made online. It has cut down the layers in processing time and has also wiped out human interface. It has also integrated the fee payment system with the permit system. All kinds of excise levies and fee are now deposited online. It has resulted in ease and transparency in the permit system,� he said.