The Assam government has given new licences to 757 new liquor outlets and bars since 2016 and the excise revenue has jumped to Rs 3,548.31 crore, the state Assembly was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a query by Congress MLA Basanta Das, Excise Minister Parimal Shuklabadya said new licences were issued to 390 bars, 14 foreign liquor shops and 353 Indian liquor outlets since 2016, when the BJP formed its first government in the state.

Besides, 408 bars located in village areas were transformed into foreign liquor shops during the last seven years, he said. “Currently, there are 2,571 IMFL ‘ON’ and IMFL ‘OFF’ shops, while the country liquor outlets are 781,” the minister said.

Shuklabadya informed the House that the government has earned an excise revenue of Rs 3,548.31 crore in this fiscal till February, which was Rs 1,433.01 crore in 2016-17. Giving a table, he said that the excise revenue increased in every subsequent year — Rs 1,699.36 crore in 2017-18, Rs 2,204.15 crore in 2018-19, Rs 2,606.68 crore in 2019-20, Rs 2,977.61 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 3,047.98 crore in 2021-22.

In addition to that, the Excise Department has collected Rs 1.18 crore as fines since 2018-19 for violation of various rules, Shuklabadya said. “The government amended The Assam Excise Act in 2018 and introduced non-bailable sections. Strengthened by this, the authority registered 69,498 cases against illegal liquor and arrested 18,634 people,” he added.

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