Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The Excise Department has successfully contained liquor distribution during the first phase of Assembly elections and it is now getting ready to deploy its personnel in areas that go to the polls in the second phase.

Official figures speak of legal hoarding (20 per cent of the average sales in one quarter) in April at 12 lakh cases more than that of March.

According to the Excise Department figures, 30 lakh cases were lifted in February for March which went up to 42 lakh cases in March for April. This rise could be due to the hoarding by traders in anticipation of the duty hike that came into effect from April 1. But the cases lifted in April for May had actually come down to 23 lakh cases.

Additional Commissioner of State Excise H.P. Erappa said that the department allowed traders to lift 20 per cent more stocks on the average sales of the previous three months. That was how the traders could lift more stocks in March for April.

He, however, said, that there was no let-up in the vigil for any extraordinary off-take of liquor, particularly the low quality IML.

Personnel at checkposts had seized nearly 16,000 cases.