A day after e Punjab Cabinet approved a new excise policy for the state, excise commissioner Varun Roojam on Thursday said the result-oriented new excise policy will give the death knell to the liquor mafia in the state besides checking the smuggling of liquor from neighbouring states.
The excise commissioner said groups have been drastically reduced for the optimum realization of the revenue and to get the benefit of economy of scale. Roojam said the license for setting up distilleries, bottling plants and breweries have been re-opened and the policy has also allowed the setting up of Malt manufacturing units in Punjab with emphasis on setting up of new Ethanol Plants, all of which will open new vistas of employment for youth.
The excise commissioner said the reduction in prices will not cause a significant increase in consumption but consumers will get products at competitive rates. He said Punjab has been suffering because of smuggling from neighbouring states and the reduction in prices of liquor will effectively curb the interstate liquor smuggling activities. Roojam said the end consumer will be the final beneficiary.
The excise commissioner said the new policy also envisages effective excise enforcement activities at the circle and district level by the officers of the Excise Department in coordination with the district police.
Roojam said the new excise policy envisages putting in place a viable mechanism from manufacturing to the whole supply chain of liquor for effective enforcement by a slew of measures. These include the introduction of track and trace software using Bar-coding on all liquor supplies in Punjab, the introduction of POS machines at retail vends, electromagnetic mass flow meters to measure the production, uses and dispatch of spirit at all manufacturing units, CCTV cameras (24X7) at all manufacturing units and wholesale and mandatory Biometric operated boom barriers at out gates of all manufacturing units.
The excise commissioner said the new policy will also check illicit liquor that caused so many deaths in past regimes. He said the new excise Policy has introduced low-cost 40-degree Punjab Medium Liquor (PML) to be sold in pouches in illicit liquor-prone areas of Punjab which will definitely wean away the people from drinking illicit liquor.
Roojam said people will shift from unhealthy illicit liquor manufactured illegally to low-priced legally manufactured 40-degree PML thereby decreasing illicit distillation of liquor to a significant extent.