IEP Chandigarh, April 06
Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Thursday said that the Punjab Excise department has registered a historic Rs 2587 Cr (41.41 percent )increase in revenue during the financial year 2022-23 as compared to the financial year 2021-22. He said that Excise department collected revenue of Rs. 8841.4 Cr from sale of liquor during 2022-2023 against revenue of Rs. 6254.74 Crore during the financial year 2021-22. Addressing the press conference here at Punjab Bhawan, Finance Minister Harpal Singh cheema dedicated the record Growth of 41.41 percent to the new Excise policy. He said that during the previous Govt regimes, the excise collections in the state registered very less growth in revenue and at times the state has witnessed even negative growth in the excise collections. Releasing the figures it was stated that a there was a negative growth rate of -1.2 percent during FY 2022-23 with a collection of Rs 6254.74 crore as compared to the previous year . The year 2020-21 had an increase of 23.7 % over the previous years with a figure of 6335 Cr . But there was negative growth of -0.7 percent in 2019-20 with collection of Rs 5117 Crores, a 0.33 percent increase was in 2018-19 with collection of Rs. 5155.86 Crores, 16.6 percent increase in 2017-18 with collection of 5139 Crores and again a negative -8.15 percent growth in 2016-17 with a collection of 4406 Cr with respect to the previous years . Divulging further, Advocate Cheema said that the Excise department has also successfully completed the allotment of Retail Liquor Vends for the Year 2023-24. “The process of allotment of 171 Excise groups was started on March 11, 2023 which has been successfully completed on March 31 2023”, said the Finance Minister while adding that the department has surpassed the set target of discovered License Fee of Rs.7989 Crores and has actually achieved the discovered License Fee Amount Rs.8007.45 Crores for the fiscal year 2023-24. He said that the Excise Department has set the total revenue collection target of Rs.9754 Crores for year 2023-24 but he is confident that the department would touch Rs. 10,000 crore figure. Replying to a media query regarding enforcement activities, the Finance Minister said that an effective enforcement drive is continuously being carried out by the Excise department with use of technology & proper co-ordination with Civil and Police authorities. He said that during April 1, 2022 to Feb 8, 2023, Total 6317 FIRs have been lodged by the Department, 6114 arrests have been made, 1,48,693 litres of illicit liquor have been detected, 5,06,607 litres of lahan was recovered and destroyed, 1,74,468 litres of PML/IMFL/Beer/Spirit have been seized,71476 Litres of ENA has been recovered, 308 working stills (bhattis) were detected & destroyed and 592 vehicles involved in smuggling of liquor have been confiscated. He said that Drone technology is also being used to capture real time images of in-accessible locations where illicit brewing is being done besides using hand-held monitors for checking the strength of confiscated/seized liquor. He further added that a Track and Trace programme has been implemented in order to track and trace the movement of liquor from the manufacturer to wholesale and retail. This has enabled the officers of the department to monitor the movement of liquor and stock inventories of the licensees up to the retail level. “Under the aegis of the Track and Trace project, the Excise QR Code Label Verification Citizen App has also been launched in the state of Punjab to ensure that no in-genuine / counterfeit/ non-duty paid liquor is sold in the State of Punjab. This mobile app is functioning in all android phones as well as iOS operated mobile phones”, he added.
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