Assam excise department has collected record Rs 1700 crore in the 2017-18 fiscal. This is the highest revenue collection of the department. The highest revenue has been \collected despite of the fact of that 5.46 percent of decrease in the consumption rate.
Excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that this is a sign of less corruption in the department. “This has been a very welcome development. We have tried our best to make the department as transparent as we can. All the dealings and procedures have been upgraded to digital format to bring the transparency and make it fast,” said Suklabaidya.
The total revenue of Rs 1700 crore is inclusive of all the taxes. Last year the department could collect Rs 1200 in total. In 2015-2016 it was 799.53 exclusive of sales tax.
In 2017-18, more than 62.73 lakh of cases of alcohol were consumed while in 2016-17, it was slightly more than 66.36 lakh cases. So, around 3.63 lakh of cases were less consumed.
Suklabaidya said that there was no policy for country spirit commercialization and modernization. The mahaldary system which was prevalent was totally unhygienic and lacking in commercialization.
“There was no heritage liquor policy in place despite the fact that Assam has various tribes which have their own exotic drinks. The commercialization of the same was unthinkable. The department had been extremely lacking in infrastructural facilities. Even vehicles for enforcement activities to stop revenue leakage were not available for the enforcement officials,” he added.
The fee for the renewal of certificates has also been reduced by 50 percent. Earlier it was Rs 3 lakh annually which is now Rs 1.5 lakh.
Alok Dutta, general secretary of All Assam IMFL Retailers’ Association, has welcomed the move of the department terming it less time and energy consuming. “We are happy at the initiative. Now we can peacefully continue doing our business. We have been doing all the formalities sitting from my home which is highly praiseworthy,” said Dutta.