Government to check smuggling of liquor under new excise policy

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Shimla, Feb 24 (UNI) Under new excise policy announced by Himachal Pradesh Government for the next fiscal, many steps have been initiated to check smuggling of liquor into the state from the neighbouring states, a spokesman said today.

Over the years, smuggling of liquor from outside has been a big challenge and it has reached alarming proportions now, contributing at least 30-35 per cent of the total local sales in the state, he said in a release here.

Moreover, the sale of illicit liquor (locally brewed) has also reached similar alarming proportions taking toll of the lives of people due to its poor quality.

The state government could not be a silent spectator to any hooch tragedy as public safety was the main concern, he added.

So the government has decided to act on both the fronts, he said, adding that, on one hand, VAT has been reduced from 20 per cent to 12.5 per cent and, on the other, the license fee has been reduced to bring the price of liquor to level prevailing in the neighbouring states.

The spokesman said the state government would also strengthen the working of multipurpose barriers in terms of staff and induction of appropriate technology to check this menace.

Appropriate changes in legal framework were also envisaged to make such activities attract deterrent punishment, he said.

On account of these proposals total estimated revenue receipts of the government under excise head would go up by Rs 40 crore as compared with the current year, he added.

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