The excise department has reportedly asked the liquor shops to lift 35% over and above their monthly guranteed quota (MGQ) for December, 2012.
This move apparently casts aspersions on the declared intentions of the Bihar government for prohibition in the state.
The order applies to all three categories of shops - IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor), country liquor and the composite ones.
Letters issued by assistant excise commissioner, Patna, Nunulal Choudhary and accessed by HT show that express orders have been issued not only to the shops, but also to the excise inspectors.
The terse letters dated December 1 and December 17 talk about achieving the revenue target fixed by the department.
They also ask the excise inspectors to ensure that the decisions are enforced.
“This order has been given for all shops in the state in accordance with the orders of our secretary. It will help check the trade in illicit liquor. Our aim is to make the retail shops lift so much that there is no scope for them to indulge in the sale of illegal hooch. In addition, we will earn some revenue as well,” said Choudhary.
However, excise secretary Sandeep Poundrik, when contacted, denied having issued any such order.
“There are no such instructions by our department. Our aim is to ensure that 100% of the MGQ is lifted,” he said.
Meanwhile, the retailers are gearing up to oppose the order tooth and nail. “This is a breach of our contract.
No shopkeeper will be able to lift so much liquor and sell it.
The excise department cannot force us to do so,” said Nawal Kishore Singh, president of Patna district IMFL retailers’ association.
Going by what Poundrik said, this could be a curious case of orders that were never there in the first place!