Soon, all 6,327 liquor vends in Punjab will have point of sale (PoS) machines. The state excise department has mooted the proposal and said that installation of these machines would help it record sale patterns, market trends and control the possibility of manipulation of selling price by the vends owners.

The department said the machines will play a key role in further increasing the excise revenues. The excise revenues witnessed a jump of 41% in the 2022-23 financial against the earnings of 6,254.74 crore in 2021-22. The state pocketed 8,841.4 crore, a jump of 2,587 crore.

“In the current fiscal, the department has set a target of 9,700 crore of revenue from the sale of liquor (excise). Next year, we are predicting that the revenue growth will plateau. So, to further increase the revenue, the department is looking to monitor the sale of each and every bottle,” said an officer in the state department on the condition of anonymity.

“It is a mandate of the government to shift to digital transaction mode, so why not in the liquor trade,” said a senior official of the department. The machine will cost the vend owners 2,500, and the department is looking to start the pilot project with vends in the districts of Patiala, Mohali and Fatehgarh Sahib from the second quarter of the financial year.

Currently, the food and civil supplies department is using PoS machines for the distribution of wheat under the schemes of the National Food Security Act, which covers 1.41 crore beneficiaries in the state. The machine, according to the food department officers, ensures that the benefits reach genuine persons.

The department claims that alcohol consumers are shifting from Punjab-made liquor (PML), termed as desi, to Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and the installation of PoS machines will help it give credence to the trends reflected in the liquor trade.

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