No proposal for fresh excise licenses, says Minister

'2,700 vacant posts of the department to be filled soon'

Excise Minister Satish Jarkiholi on Sunday asserted that there were no proposals before the government to issue new licences to set up wine stores.

Speaking to the media after reviewing the progress of the department in Mysore region, at a meeting held in Government Guest House in the city, Jarkiholi said, barring CL-7 type of licences issued to set up bars and restaurants, no other licences were being issued since the year 1992.  The government was issuing such licences after considering the tourism potential of the cities.

Replying to media queries, Jarkiholi said that there was no proposal to open wine stores for the population of every 10,000 at hobli level and also under SC/ST category.

Claiming that the department had achieved more than the set target in the previous fiscal, Jarkiholi said that the revenue collected during the period was Rs 12,800 crore against the target of Rs 12,600 crore (101 per cent). The target for the current fiscal was Rs 14,000 crore, and the department was optimistic about reaching the target this time too.

He said that the government was committed to making the State ‘hooch free’, and that around 200 families involved in brewing hooch had been identified. He added that they would be rehabilitated, and the department of Social Welfare had drawn up plans for the same.  On the vacancies in the wing, Jarkiholi said that as many as 200 inspectors would be recruited this year, along with 200 sub-inspectors and 150 guards. The department had plans to fill 2,700 posts, which have been vacant, in three phases, he added.

The department was incorporating technology by simplifying the process of application and renewal of licences online. The prescribed fee could also be paid online, making it easy for the traders.

On the allegations against Excise officials harassing wine traders by demanding money, the minister said that action would be taken, if the traders gave written complaints.

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