Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday stated that a whopping increase in excise revenue collection from Rs 10-12 crore three years back to around Rs 300 crore this year was the result of transparent Excise policy brought following the intervention of High Court and dedicated efforts of public servants to curb tax evasion. He was addressing 177 newly inducted recruits of J&K Administrative Service, J&K Police Service and J&K Accounts Service after handing over appointment letters to them at the Convention Centre here.
Referring to the observations made by the Chief Secretary A K Mehta in his address earlier, LG Sinha remarked, “Mehtaji (Chief Secretary) talked about certain issues here yet he forgot to mention a few points. However, I would add to what he was referring to. I remember the year when I came here, excise revenue collection used to be around Rs 10-12 crore. This year it has reached around Rs 300 crore. This was one aspect of the point being mentioned here. However there was another side to it as well.”
“Pertinent question to ponder over here was – Where used to go this Rs 290 crore earlier? Who used to pocket it? This would go to them (beneficiaries) who had been running liquor shops for the past three to four generations. And after their illegal practices were curbed, they accused us of taking away their source of income. They came out with the logic that they were running shops and (with their closure) their means of livelihood were snatched. In the same breath, they would also reveal that they paid (hefty amount as) donation to procure admission for their wards in the Medical College,” the Lieutenant Governor took a dig at those who would resort to (excise) tax evasion.
He stated that the High Court rejected earlier excise policy and gave a direction to the J&K administration to ensure transparent auction of liquor shops. “The intervention of the High Court and our senior officers who were at the helm of affairs that time infused such a positive change (increase in revenue collection),” he said, while underlining the contribution of public servants in transforming the society by adhering to public-welfare driven policies.
LG Sinha stated that the biggest responsibility of the public servants was to safeguard the Constitution of India and uphold the national interests to be followed by the interests of the common man.