Excise duty hike not a deterrent to liquor smuggling


The hike effected in Excise duty by the Puducherry Government on all alcoholic beverages is not high enough to deter liquor smuggling from Karaikal to Nagapattinam district, according to official circles.

As per the latest order from the Puducherry government, the Excise duty for cheap and ordinary brands of alcohol has been increased from ₹ 93 to ₹ 100 per proof litre (measure of alcohol the beverage contains), and from ₹ 110 to ₹ 115 for medium and premium brands.

The increase is only by a few rupees for a quarter bottle, which will still be ₹ 30 to ₹ 40 lesser than the selling price of the same product at TASMAC outlets in Nagapattinam district.

The Prohibition Enforcement Wing of the police department, hence, cannot afford to lower its guard at the checkposts. The police teams conduct checks in public transport buses and also in private vehicles. But, the movement of liquor is difficult to contain, according to a senior official.

According to a TASMAC employee at an outlet in Kollidam area, the perceived quality of the liquor brought in from Karaikal is another reason for the high level of patronage. The PEW has been on its toes to prevent manufacture and supply of spurious liquor in the district, he says.

The liquor smuggling racket has developed a network which the Prohibition Enforcement Wing has been struggling to dismantle. The manpower is simply not sufficient to keep a tab on the smuggling of liquor through ambulances or ice-cream vendors who usually conceal the bottles underneath in the boxes.

It becomes all the more difficult for the police to detect the smuggling if the liquor is brought by boats through a network of fishermen. In fact, fishermen given to drinking habit mostly consume the liquor brought from Puducherry, the sources said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:15:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/excise-duty-hike-not-a-deterrent-to-liquor-smuggling/article28826746.ece

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