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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Scan code on app to check if liquor bottle is genuine

In a first in the country, the Maharashtra government plans to print barcodes on caps of all liquor bottles to plug duty evasion, tackle an annual revenue loss of Rs 1,500-Rs 1,800 crore and prevent duplication of liquor, said excise officials.

mumbai Updated: May 30, 2019 02:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
State excise minister, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, said there have been several cases in various parts of the state where inferior quality liquor has been filled and sold in branded bottles. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
State excise minister, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, said there have been several cases in various parts of the state where inferior quality liquor has been filled and sold in branded bottles. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
         

Is the bottle of liquor you purchased genuine or spurious? You can soon find out through a mobile application which will scan barcodes printed on the caps of liquor bottles.

In a first in the country, the Maharashtra government plans to print barcodes on caps of all liquor bottles to plug duty evasion, tackle an annual revenue loss of Rs 1,500-Rs 1,800 crore and prevent duplication of liquor, said excise officials. Consumers, shop owners and authorities can scan the barcodes with an app to check the authenticity of the liquor. This track-and-trace system will also enable real-time reports on inventory, sales, and revenue.

State excise minister, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, said there have been several cases in various parts of the state where inferior quality liquor has been filled and sold in branded bottles. “We estimate that the mechanism will plug a revenue loss of nearly Rs 1,800 crore annually,” Bawankule said. The barcode will be printed on caps of all types of liquor, including country liquor, he said. Currently, the state earns a revenue of ₹15,323 crore through excise duty. With this new mechanism, Bawankule said the revenue will increase by 20% annually.

A senior excise department official said an agency will be appointed to print the barcodes and develop the app. “Manufacturers will have to send the caps to the agency for printing. The barcodes will have details of where the bottle was produced, the date, etc,” the official said.

Bawankule also said tenders for appointment of the printing agency will be floated by August 15. “The mechanism will be implemented in the following six months,” he said. Officials hope the system will help root out the menace of spurious liquor. In the past too, the state had made it mandatory to print hologram stickers on bottles, but there was no way to track origin of a product to ascertain authenticity.

First Published: May 30, 2019 02:32 IST

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