PANAJI: About 200 people received permission to sublet their licences after the excise department changed the law a year ago.

After the Silly Soul controversy, the excise department amended the Goa Excise Act, legalising the subletting of excise licences. Getting an excise licence is difficult for a person from outside Goa as a 25-year residency certificate needs to be submitted to apply for the licence.

Over the years, several resorted to taking licences on rent which was allowed only a year ago.

An excise official said though many have applied and got permission to operate a licence issued to a third party, they suspect many more have not applied yet.

We have created enough awareness, and those who are still operating illegally should immediately apply to the department,” he said. An enforcement cell which was formed recently, he said, would go after the operators who continue to function without taking permission from the excise department.

An agreement has to be signed between two parties — a licensee and the person to whom a licence is assigned — and a stipulated fee has to be paid. The agreement has to be submitted to the excise department. It is suspected that several in the tourist belts use excise licences issued to others.

“In the Calangute-Candolim belt as well in other tourist areas, many used the licences of others,” a trader in Calangute said. “I am sure many obtained permissions after the amendment of the law but still there are many more operating illegally.” The excise department, he said, will have to run a drive to nab the illegal operators.

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