Govt files FIR against legal liquor vendor, slaps fine on 30 suppliers

The Delhi government has filed an FIR against a legal vend and slapped penalties on 30 liquor suppliers over alleged wrongdoings -  a move seen as an attempt to discipline vend owners and increasing excise collection.

At another errant liquor vend in east Delhi, the raiding parties recovered bottles meant to be sold in other states, said an official. An FIR was registered against a liquor vend licensed by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation in west Delhi’s Nangloi where a raid revealed manipulation in stock register.

“We gave a police complaint and an inquiry has been launched,” said an official, involved in the raid last week. Four liquor vends were raided last month by the Excise Department and similar stock manipulation complaints were detected.

“One vend in Mayur Vihar had stocked liquor which was meant for sale in other states and not Delhi,” said an official. The department is now looking into possibility of liquor vends working in league with smugglers who supply them bottles from other states, causing loss of revenue to Delhi.

After receiving complaints from consumers that the prices printed on liquor bottles were not clear and resulted in vend owners overcharging, the Excise Department inspected stocks of 30 suppliers and found the problem genuine.

“The paper being used on these bottles is of poor quality, and as a result, the printed price was hazy, causing problems to the consumers,” said an official. The 30 suppliers have been warned that they would be blacklisted if the same problem is encountered by consumers again, he said.

On the poor paper and printing complaint, the Excise Department had to seek help from a central government undertaking for investigation. “The report by the agency confirmed that the paper being used on liquor bottles was of poor quality,” he said.

The government wants the Excise Department to contribute about Rs 4,100 crore – 12 per cent of the total revenue collection – in 2015-16. Mindful of loopholes that promote corruption, the city government is streamlining the liquor trade and shifting the point of levy of excise duty from transport permit level to import permit level.

An official said the retail vend fee of corporations has also been enhanced from Rs 2.5 lakh per annum to Rs 4 lakh per annum. Other licence fees have also been increased.
The city government has often pointed towards corruption in the department. During the government’s anti-corruption drive, the maximum number of arrests was from the Excise Department.

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