Ranchi, Oct 6: After initial brouhaha, the new excise policy of Jharkhand is now bringing disappointment in terms of falling sales of liquor which at a time has left bosses of the department worried.
In a letter addressed to all placement agencies and concerned officials of the department, Joint Commissioner (Excise) Gajendra Kumar Singh has expressed concerns that liquor procurement at retail shops has drastically fallen during the month of September to an extent that the government is not able to get ‘Minimum Guaranteed Revenue’ (MGR). The letter further warns placement agencies of stringent actions by the Jharkhand State Beverage Corporation Limited (JSBCL) if the sale is not revived. MGR is the key feature of the new excise policy.
The Lagatar24. Com is in the possession of a letter issued by the department. It is revealed that 11 districts have a poor procurement against the quantity fixed by the JSBCL namely Ranchi (58.38%), Simdega (56.66 %), Gumla (79.02 %), Garhwa (78.18 %), Latehar (78.29 %), Palamu (58.52 %), Jamtara (65.74 %), Pakur (70.68 %), Deoghar (76.54 %), West Singhbhum (74.07 %) and Koderma (74.43 %).
Ranchi having 146 liquor shops has particularly worried the department since the procurement and the sale have declined in the state capital also. While only 58.38 % of the actual procurement was done, the actual selling staggered around 40 % which is not at all satisfactory.
The JSBCL roped in Summeet Facilities, Prime One Workforce, A to Z Infra Services Ltd, Eagle Hunter, M/s Dishita Ventures Pvt Ltd, M/s Om Sai Beverage Pvt Ltd. The department has stated that there is no sufficient stock of popular country-made and foreign liquor besides beer in the stockyard of Ranchi, Dhanbad, and Palamu.
Explaining reasons behind the below procurement and low sale, an official of the department said that such situations are taking place due to the fault of the policy.
“Under the policy, manufacturers will get the payment against the supply only after the entire consignment. Now under the MGR, the target has been fixed. So if even a part of the consignment remains unsold the payment will be withheld. Due to this reason manufacturers are apprehensive. There are many other loopholes in the new policy,” said the official.
When the Hemant Soren government changed the policy in May this year, the department claimed the new policy had increased the revenue of Jharkhand which was made operational on May 1.
Excise secretary Vinay Choubey claimed that despite the proper system not in place, the first month’s revenue generation was very huge. He said that it was an indication that the policy was in the right direction as the government took over the sale of liquor.
The Excise policy was twice amended in Jharkhand as it failed to deliver the desired result. Previously the liquor policy was changed in 2017 and made effective in March of the same year. But the total revenue of that month was only Rs 30 Crore and there was chaos all over the state due to the gap in the supply and the demand. Besides, there was no proper mechanism to boost the sale. In 2019, the government again changed the excise policy and withdrew from the business.
When the Hemant Soren government changed the policy it claimed that the business increased following the new policy. In May the net revenue generated was Rs 188 which is Rs 36 Crore additional.