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‘Zero Tolerance’ towards spurious & illicit liquor trade, says Venu Prasad after inspecting Rajpura bottling factory

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Rajpura, December 9, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Punjab Financial Commissioner (Tax) Mr. A Venu Prasad said that the policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ adopted by the Punjab Government towards the trade of counterfeit and illicit liquor is being strictly followed.

Mr. Venu Prasad accompanied by Excise Commissioner, Punjab Mr. Rajat Agarwal were interacting with the media at Rajpura where the Excise Department and Excise Police seized an illicit liquor bottling plant, the previous night.

On the occasion Mr. A Venu Prasad said that following the directions of the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, under Operation Red Rose against the illicit trade of liquor in the state, the excise revenue of the state has increased by 29 percent over the previous year. He said that due to the increase in the sale of liquor, the Excise Department has, for the first time increased the quota of liquor by 15 percent that resulted in increase of Revenue of Rs 785 Crore.

Mr. Prasad further said that the Excise Department had already roped in stringent measures like installation of GPRS on transporting vehicles that used to carry ENA but to check the pilferage more minutely, we would remain more vigilant while importing it from the factories.

Excise Commissioner, Mr. Rajat Agarwal appealed to the people of Punjab to immediately report the illicit trade of liquor on the helpline number 98759-61126 of the Excise Department and said that this factory has also been caught on the basis of confidential information.

The co-operation of the people is must to eradicate grey business. He said that as per the strict orders of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the government and the department had made it clear that no one, involved in the business of counterfeit or illicit liquor or any official / employee would be spared.

Responding to a query from the media, Mr. Venu Prasad said that Rajpura and Shambhu areas were adjacent to Haryana and such a factory may have been set up near the National Highway due to strictures on transportation of ENA, but no body will be spared, if found in indulged in this grey business.

He said that the matter is being investigated thoroughly and it would be ascertained where the liquor was supplied. Replying to another question, he said that the department has also raided and inspected the distilleries and some factories have also been fined.

Mr. Rajjat Agarwal added that such action was being taken by the Excise Department and the police across the state and crackdown on such illicit liquor manufacturers and bootleggers in Tarn Taran, Beas, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar etc. However, major action has also been taken against the culprits in the rural area.

He said that so far about 13,000 cases have been registered and 11,000 persons have been arrested. He further said that the department has also roped in its own confidential sources to get the information of the persons involved in such business.

Others who were present there, included Additional Commissioner Excise Navdeep Bhinder, Joint Commissioner Excise Punjab Naresh Dubey, AIG Excise and Taxation APS Ghumman, S P Pritipal Singh and Deputy Commissioner, Excise Patiala Zone Rajpal Singh Khaira, AETC Vinod Pahuja, Assistant Commissioner Excise Patiala Inderjit Nagpal, AETC Enforcement Mrs Ravi Inder Kalra, ETO Harjot Singh, Rohit Garg.

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