Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Thursday said the excise collection of the state had crossed the Rs 4,000-crore mark within the first six months of a financial year for the first time, registering a total collection of Rs 4,280 crore.

Addressing a press conference at Punjab Bhawan here, he said the excise revenue collection during the current fiscal registered an increase of 37.62 per cent over last year’s figures for the same period.

He said during 2021 and 2022, the excise revenue collection from April 1 to October 12 was Rs 3,110 crore and Rs 4,280 crore, respectively.

Slamming the previous governments for not making adequate changes in the excise policy due to their “collusion” with the liquor mafia, he said these governments facilitated the liquor mafia in the loot of more than Rs 22,500 crore from the state exchequer.

He said the AAP government had set a target of Rs 9,000 crore excise collection, while the target of the last government was only Rs 6,200 crore. He said the liquor mafia was trying to harass officers through the Union Government to “break this policy”.

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