Assam easy with excise policies, encourages liquor trade

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Guwahati, May 27 (UNI) For tippler's, Assam is their paradise as the the government buoyed by the 41 per cent increase of revenue has decided to open more country liquor shops in all districts.

''The sales of Indian Made Foreign Liqour (IMFL) has gone up by 41 per cent. But we are worried that country liquors are not going up. We are in the process of issuing license to 10-12 country liquor shops in each districts to boost the sales,'' State Excise Minister Gautam Roy told mediapersons here yesterday.

He also informed that with the formal Cabinet approval, the licenses would be issued during this year adding that IMFL sales have shot up from 25.50 lakh case in 2004-2005 to 40.87 lakh case last fiscal.

Similarly the sale of beer has shot up from 8.45 lakh case to 11.79 lakh case during the same period. He, however, expressed concern that sale of beer was not at par with the IMFL.

He also informed that sale of country liquor had gone down from 15.55 lakh case to 14.42 lakh case over the last year.

''This is a cause of concern and hence we are trying to give more licenses in each of the 29 districts of Assam to boost the liquor sale,'' Mr Roy said.

The overall revenue from the liqour sale has gone up from Rs 140 to Rs 183 crores in the last one year.

He, however, has restricted the timings of 'Lounge bars'. These bars would now remain open from 1100 hours to 2300 hours. Earlier it was open up to 0100 hours.

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