In a bid to stop large scale smuggling of liquor, the issuing of permits to distilleries has become online in Madhya Pradesh. Officials expect that 90 per cent of smuggling of liquor would end in the state with this new scheme.
The issuing of online permits started on December 8 and to take stock of the problems that arose in the first fortnight would be discussed at a meeting in Bhopal on Wednesday.
Before issuing of online permits, it was done manually. But it is an open secret that in connivance with excise officials, the permit at the factory end was left blank and only the copy of the permit which was carried by the vehicle in which the liquor was being carried was filled up.
If the truck was stopped for checking, then a message was relayed to the factory from where the permit was issued and the excise officials filled up the details, and thus when cross checked, everything turned out to be legal. If no one stopped the vehicle carrying the liquor, then the permit was reused as many times as possible.
Now with issuing of online permits, it is not possible to reuse the same permit because everything is online and visible to all the higher-ups also. Moreover, unless all the necessary details are filled up - like truck number, the quantity, its destination etc - the permit cannot be generated.
Officials said that smuggling of liquor will not stop completely even now, especially to Gujarat. Apart from liquor smuggled from distilleries, some of the liquor is bought legally from government godowns and then taken to Gujarat illegally.