Contractors suffer losses, courtesy liquor smuggling
Moga: Liquor smuggling has been giving sleepless nights to Excise and Taxation Department officials as well as liquor contractors in the district.
Since the beginning of the current fiscal year, more than 5,000 cases of liquor had been recovered from smugglers. In the past one week, more than 500 cases of liquor were seized by the police.
On October 26, the police recovered 250 cases of smuggled liquor from a truck at Bilaspur town in the district. On seeing the police, the truck driver and his associate managed to run away from the spot. On the same day, another team of the local police recovered six cases of liquor from a woman smuggler identified as Paramjit Kaur of Dala village in the district.
On October 23, the police seized 200 cases of liquor from Khosa Randhir Singh village. On October 21, at least 30 bottles of liquor were recovered from two liquor smugglers.
Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh Hundal and SP (D) Vazir Singh said the police regularly check the vehicles entering the district. Local liquor contractors Sumit Doda, Ravinder Singh, Navdeep Sangha and others said they were running into losses due to liquor smuggling. They alleged that the liquor was also being smuggled out of few distilleries and bottling plants without excise duty probably under political influence.
“A majority of liquor contractors are unable to pay the monthly installment of excise duty on time due to high rate of smuggling. The government must ensure that the liquor smuggling is stopped from all corners to earn revenue on time,” the contractors said.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Sadhan Wali Basti, Hakam Ka Akwarh and a couple of other localities near Bukkanwala have become hotspots for the sale of illegal liquor in Moga city. Local smugglers even deliver liquor at doorstep on a call.
The smuggled liquor not only comes from adjoining areas, but also from Chandigarh and Haryana, where it is relatively cheaper.
Congress leader Vinod Bansal, also a liquor contractor, said the problem was not new, but for the past few weeks it had increased manifold. Ruing that their sale has hit badly, he said: “If the sale comes down instantly without any reason, it means cheap liquor is coming from other parts.”