In a bid to crack down on the sale of illegal liquor, the Maharashtra government will soon come up with a resolution under which drinkers will be allowed to possess only two bottles of booze as against the current limit of 12 bottles.
The move comes in the wake of misuse of the current limit, especially in rural areas, where instances of drinkers selling liquor from their permitted quota, hoarding of illicit liquor and selling it at cheaper rates have come to light.
“This resolution (GR) is being done to check the sale of spurious and illicit liquor, especially toddy,” Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule told reporters on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, state Excise Commissioner V Radha said the demonetisation of higher value currencies has affected the sale of Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor (IMFL) by 25 per cent.
However, demonetisation has also resulted in rise in the sale of country liquor (CL-III) by 5 to 10 per cent, “which is also due to a heavy crackdown on sale of spurious toddy.”
Radha said total value of seized liquor between April-October this year stood at Rs 19.83 crore, which is 21.56 per cent more than the value of the liquor seized at Rs 16.31 crore in corresponding period last year.
She said excise revenue which was in negative at 2.06 per cent in April this year has now risen to 8 per cent in November.
Specifying the measures undertaken on liquor front, the minister said, “The government has amended the 2008 orders and empowered Gram Sabhas to pass a resolution calling for the shops located within boundaries of villages to be relocated 100 meters away (outside the village limit).
“If 50 per cent (of members) of Gram Sabha vote in favour of relocation then it is mandatory upon the shop owner concerned to relocate his shop 100 meters outside the village limits,” the minister said.
Bawankule said the shop owner concerned will be given a year’s time to shift within and won’t be charged any fees.
“However, if he fails to relocate his shop within a year, his license shall be cancelled,” he added.