Special Correspondent

New excise policy will be out shortly

HYDERABAD: The State Government is seriously contemplating a proposal to bring out a special package to rehabilitate those engaged in arrack and illicit liquor manufacturing.

To be implemented on a pilot basis in Hyderabad, Kurnool, East and West Godavari districts, the new package envisages provision of alternative employment under different Government schemes. Steps will be initiated to provide bank loans wherever necessary to see that the rehabilitated persons secure proper livelihood.

Excise Minister Jakkampudi Ramamohan Rao, who reviewed the progress with senior officials on Wednesday, told reporters that the package would form part of a new excise policy that would be released shortly. Keeping in view certain loopholes in the existing legislations that allowed offenders to secure bail, the Government was preparing the new policy on the lines of Tamil Nadu.

As part of efforts to further streamline the procedures and strict implementation of the policy, the department requested the Government to sanction 2,000 posts of head constables and homeguards in addition to the existing staff. The staff would be provided with vehicles and other infrastructure while the department was contemplating to increase surveillance in coastal areas by deploying personnel in boats along the coast.

On the performance of the department, he said sales during the past two months had grown significantly, registering a record Rs. 657 crore during May alone.