Excise Department proposes low-priced local liquor in market to reduce consumption of spurious spirits
The Excise department has started thinking of bringing low-priced local liquor to the market to reduce the impact of spurious liquor. If the policy formulation prepared by the Excise Directorate is approved, then the yellow-coloured local liquor bottle will be available at a price of Rs 50-Rs 60 in the market before the next Assembly election.
Kolkata: The Excise department has started thinking of bringing low-priced local liquor to the market to reduce the impact of spurious liquor. Contemplation has begun on how this liquor will be released in the market, who will be allowed to produce it, what will be the price and what will be the impact of bringing new cheap local liquor in the market.
If the policy formulation prepared by the Excise Directorate is approved, then the yellow-coloured local liquor bottle will be available at a price of Rs 50- Rs 60 in the market before the next Assembly election. The excise department thinks that it will be preferred by those who risk consuming spurious liquor.
According to sources, an average of 400 million bottles of local liquor is sold in the state every year. The state government has always focused on improving the quality of local liquor. The local liquor bottles are now available at an average price of Rs 80 to Rs 115. In the last two or three years, the price has increased considerably.
According to many excise officials, the rise in prices has encouraged a large section of the working people to drink spurious liquor instead of local liquor. Buying a bottle of local liquor by spending Rs 100 every day has turned out to be very expensive for the poor. Many people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and lockdown. But the excise officials know that the trend of intoxication has not decreased much. Therefore, the people who consume local liquors are moving towards consuming spurious liquor due to financial crunch.
An excise official said, ''Spurious liquor is available at half the price of local liquor. Although 400 million bottles of local liquor are sold annually, it is still half the amount of spurious liquor. Despite many efforts, spurious liquor traders are not stopping their business. The only alternative is to bring local liquor at a price equivalent to spurious liquor. In that case, at least many alcoholics will be able to leave the consumption of spurious liquor and drink local liquor instead.”
The Excise department also believes that the sale of local liquor has decreased due to the country’s economic slowdown. In the year of Assembly elections, just like the places Mograhat or Tamluk, if anyone dies after consuming spurious liquor, then the government faces accusations. This is why the excise officials have decided to decrease the price of local liquor.
The market now sells more 50 degree and 60 degree local liquor. In addition to this, 80 degree local liquor is sold in the tea garden of Dooars and in the jungle mahal area. The price of this liquor is much lower. The new cheap local liquor that is planned to be brought is equivalent to 60 degree local liquor. The local liquor will be made from molasses. It will also be very colourful. However, it all depends on the approval from Nabanna.
Nabanna officials, however, said that a decision would be taken at the highest level of government after considering the proposal of the excise department. The impact of new cheap local liquor on revenue will also be looked into.