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EXCISE DEPARTMENT CRACKS DOWN ON LIQOUR SMUGGLING & ILLICIT DISTILLATION


Chandigarh:  Giving impetus to the drive started by Department of Excise, Punjab to ensure free and fair elections by putting complete control over smuggling of liquor as well as illicit distillation since coming onto force the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) due to General Elections to Loksabha – 2024, Excise Commissioner Punjab, Sh. Varun Roojam has been leading this battle from the front.

He along with team of higher officers carried out surprise inspections at the Office of Assistant Commissioner (Excise) Patiala, One Beer manufacturing unit at Patiala and then a Liquor wholesale distributor at Mohali.

He also checked the Inter-state Nakas at Jharmadi barrier on Chandigarh- Ambala National Highway. During checking in the office of Assistant

Commissioner (Excise) Patiala, he directed the officers to keep strict vigil over all

excise establishments of the district and ensure that there is no leakage of Liquor during the coming days. While carrying out surprise inspection of Liquor manufacturing unit namely M/s Amara Brewery Pvt. Ltd. Patiala, he checked the record of production and dispatch. He also checked the functioning of CCTV cameras and Boom barriers installed at all liquor manufacturing units to keep technology enabled control over movement of Liquor. Similarly, installation and working of CCTVs was also checked at Wholesale distributor namely M/s Vishal Enterprises, JLPL Industrial Area Sector 82, Mohali.

The record maintained by the distributor was also examined during visit. Excise Commissioner Punjab also recalled that recently during surprise checking at one of the bottling plants namely M/s Bborish Industries Pvt. Ltd., Village Behra in Dera Bassi areas of SAS Nagar, it was found violating various provisions of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, and subsequently the license of the said Bottling Plant has been suspended for 15 days by the Department.

During todays checking he directed all the officers of the department that no stone shall be left unturned in ensuring that the elections are held in a free and fair manner by ruling out possibility of any illegal movement of Liquor.

The Excise Department has been continuously carrying out intensive operations against smuggling of liquor, smuggling of ENA and other excise related crimes as per the directions of Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner (Taxation), Punjab Sh. Vikas Pratap, IAS and Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab Sh. Varun Roojam, IAS. During the period of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) only, the Excise department has registered about 1229 FIRs and 1064 arrests have been made, 19557 litres of illicit liquor detected, 3787283 litres of lahan recovered and destroyed, 111709 Bottles of PML/IMFL/Beer has been

seized. The estimated value of Seizure is Rs. 25.71 crores. The Excise Department has not even spared the Licensees involved in illegal supply of liquor. In many cases the liquor shops of these violating retail licensees have been challenged/closed. Excise Commissioner further informed that strict vigil is being maintained on the movement of liquor in the State and 126 Nakas/checking points have been set up across the State for the purpose of checking any illegal flow of liquor in the wake of upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, 2024.

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