ON THE eve of annual inspection of its records by State Additional Excise Commissioner Uttam Agrawal, District Excise Department has projected income growth of 104 per cent through liquor sales between April and December 2006 against the revenue target of 2006-2007.
Agrawal will visit the department’s dilapidated office at the Collectorate for inspection of the records on January 27 (January 26 being Republic Day holiday) and recommend reforms wherever necessary.
As per records, the department has already earned Rs 107.03 crore against the annual target of Rs 103.21 crore. Likewise, it has recovered Rs 4.532 crore as entertainment tax against the given target of Rs 2.136 crore.
During the first nine months in last financial year, the entertainment tax collections were Rs 1.06 crore, which has shot up to Rs 4.49 crore in the current financial year.
During first nine months of current financial year, district excise flying squad seized 3,800 proof litres of illicit country liquor, 2,462 proof litres of foreign liquor, and 215 litres of beer, 2,000 bulk litres of raw liquor and 10,800 litres of mahua lahan.
Arresting 2,053 accused in connection for transporting illicit liquor, one bus, five four wheelers and nine two wheelers were confiscated. A sum of Rs 53.30 lakh was recovered as old dues.
Notwithstanding its fizzy feat of records, the real test lies ahead. With government increasing reserve price by 20 per cent on liquor from April 1, 2007, in its new State excise policy, the department foresees not very encouraging response from liquor contractors, thinking that further increase in prices might affect overall sales.
Before disposing of about 600 liquor shops through annual tender process next month, the department had asked contractors to renew annual licence by paying 20 per cent increased reserve price. Thursday was the last day to submit the renewal proposal.
Although final figures could not be computed till Thursday evening, only 15 per cent of contractors applied for licence renewal, sources said.