JAIPUR: After the excise department suspended 16 shops for three days on Wednesday, the liquor traders alleged that they are being targeted after protest was initiated by them to amend the policy.
Disappointed with the move, the traders have decided to surrender their shops to the excise department on Thursday.
The excise department claims the action was taken as the traders have not deposited composite fee. However, traders alleged, the department is targeting the traders who were protesting against the government.
Nilesh Mewara, president of Raj Liquor Welfare Society, said, traders announced to protest against the new policy to gather the attention of the chief minister. Following this action has been taken against the protesters.
“To develop the pressure tactics on the traders the excise department has taken the action. There are several shops who have not deposited composite fee. But, shops of only one group has been targeted.”
The traders further alleged for almost three months, contractors from across the state have been demonstrating at district headquarters and excise offices, warehouses, but the government did not accept their demands. “After traders announced to come on the road, the department is taking action. We are businessmen and not going to default on payments. The government is harassing traders who are already under financial crises,” said another member.
Liquor traders claim that the state government abolished the license fee, but gave it a new name, Basic License Fee and Rs 881 per box on Rajasthan-made liquor, Rs 357 per box is being charged separately on country liquor.
As the number of shops increased in the state, it is claimed the profit sharing reduced. Moreover, the traders are allegedly facing difficulties due to the guarantee system.
A society member also demanded that the excise department should provide various relaxations for traders to survive in the business.
“It’s mandatory for a trader to purchase a fixed amount of liquor every month from the excise depot. A penalty is imposed, if traders fail. After shops were made composite, the traders must buy stock of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), country-made liquor including Rajasthan-Made Liquor (RML). It’s difficult for the shopkeepers to sell the stock of all three categories.”