Dry on revenue, govt moots to lift Chandrapur liquor ban

Nagpur: The Maharashtra government has decided to mop up funds by additional mobilization, with diminishing revenues and precarious financial situation. A meeting was held on Tuesday under deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in which different departments came forward with their respective proposals.

Image result for Dry on revenue, govt moots to lift Chandrapur liquor ban

Excise Ministry, too, put forward its request to lift the Chandrapur liquor prohibition. It was also proposed to extend wine shops closing time in the state by one hour until 11.30 pm.

According to senior excise officials, the state received annual Rs242 crore from the Chandrapur district from excise duty until 2014-15, which it had been losing out over the past five years. We believed the ban was failing to serve its purpose as cases of illegal smuggling jumped to a new high. They told TOI, on condition of anonymity, that Pawar and other ministers responded positively to the proposal and that they intend to discuss it during the next meeting of the cabinet.

The previous BJP-led government led by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had instituted the liquor prohibition in 2015 after large-scale demands from women in Chandrapur. It was the third district of the state and also of Vidarbha after Wardha and Gadchiroli where the consumption of liquor was prohibited. The large-scale anger due to the ban had resulted in a surprising loss of former union minister and six-time MP Hansraj Ahir from liquor baron Suresh alias Balu Dhanorkar, who has been demanding that the ban be lifted since his victory.

Excise officials told TOI that their proposal had been discussed in detail where they provided the last five years statistics that included losses suffered and quantity of illicit liquor confiscated. “We told them of cops ‘ investigations in cases of liquor smuggling, both in terms of the number of crimes and the amount seized that soared over the past five years.” They also pointed out that revenue figures would have increased over the past five years if the ban was not enforced. “Since the last 5 years, we have been missing out on precious revenue from over Rs250 crore. Such amount could have been used for other purposes such as for farmers. The very object of the prohibition is thwarted by large-scale smuggling of illicit liquor. “Nevertheless, the move by the government received mixed reactions from the district’s public representatives and other netas.

The main leader who started the movement to ban liquor in Chandrapur through her organization Sharamik Elgar Parishad, the social activist Paromita Goswami, said she and her organization would steadfastly resist any such attempt by the government. “I will be holding a press conference in this regard on Thursday. We will be informed about how the liquor ban has significantly helped people here and why it should continue. “Netas like MLA Kishor Jorgewar stressed that a thorough review must be carried out before the prohibition is relaxed. “The government needs to look in the last five years at the pros and cons of the prohibition. It should take into account not only revenue losses but also incidents involving drug dumping and the selling of counterfeit or fake liquor. I have learnt that over 40,000 crimes against illicit consumption have been committed. “Defending the prohibition move by the BJP government in Chandrapur, former excise minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the decision was taken after 90 per cent of Gram Panchayats passed a resolution in this regard, which was well supported by the majority of women. “We can not lift the ban just by citing reductions in sales. Alternatively, by merging police and excise force to begin operations, they could reinforce the system to prevent the sale of illicit liquor. I think any such move would be strongly opposed by the women people there, “he said.

Nagpur Updates

Nagpurupdates is your local/Digital news, entertainment, Events, foodies & tech website. We provide you with the happening news, Page3 Contain and all about Nagpur Foodies & Infrastructure from the Nagpur and world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Adblock Detected

Disable Your Add Block To View Page.