Excise Deptt seeks bank transaction details of H1 bidders for retail liquor sales – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Government loses nearly Rs 700 cr after new policy

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, April 7: Tightening the noose around the alcohol mafia which allegedly took unfair advantage of certain loopholes in the existing excise policy, the Excise Department has requested bank transaction details from the highest bidders for liquor retail licenses in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
An instruction in this regard has been issued to all H1 bidders (highest bidders) to provide details of the banking transaction to the Excise Department for issuance JKEL-2 (Retail Sales License) for the year 2021 -22.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the failure of H1 bidders to provide required bank transaction details and other documents delayed the opening of maximum retail liquor sales across Jammu and Kashmir until ‘nowadays.
As more than 90% of liquor dispensers at various locations across the Union have been closed since March 31, the Office of Excise Commissioner J&K has extended the deadline for submitting documents required by H1 bidders , who deposited the amount of the offer. within the prescribed time.
It is pertinent to mention here that revenue collection by J&K Excise Department for the year 2020-21 was less than Rs 700 crores compared to the revenue collected in the year 2019-20, contrary to major claims government that the new excise policy would multiply revenue and end the alcohol mafia’s monopoly. The Excise Department received revenue of Rs 2045.34 crore in the year 2019-20, while in 2021-22, after the implementation of the new excise policy, revenue of Rs 1353 Only Rs.81 crore was collected.
According to the sources, the urgent directive to H1 bidders to provide bank transaction details was issued following confirmed reports that the alcohol mafia was improperly taking advantage of some loopholes in the existing excise policy and succeeding in obtain a number of retail licenses. (Type-C) through proxies.
While elaborating, sources said that the liquor mafia used proxy bidders to meet the eligibility criteria and thus not only monopolized the liquor business in Jammu and Kashmir but also caused havoc. huge loss of revenue to the excise department of J&K.
Sources said a single bank account was used to make payments for multiple sales. This was done to maintain the monopoly over the accounts and must be questioned by the State Vigilance Organization (SVO), they said.
On the one hand, the government suffered a loss of revenue under the new excise policy while on the other, the alcohol mafia reportedly thrived by managing retail sales through bidders. by proxy, which were used to satisfy the eligibility criteria specified in the Alcohol Licensing and Sales Rules 1984. .
As per the new excise policy, only one pitch can be allocated to a bidder, who must be domiciled in UT Jammu and Kashmir and must not have been found guilty/charged for any offense under the excise J&KI or have a criminal history.
Upon learning of reports that the liquor mafia used proxy bidders to manage peak liquor sales at J&K, the Excise Department ordered H1 bidders to provide bank transaction details to trace traces of the money deposited as Earnest Money (EMD) and the amount of the offer.
When contacted, Excise Commissioner Kishore Singh Chib said that the bank details and other documents, such as certificate of ownership, certificate of clearance for sale by the relevant deputy commissioner and certificate of character, etc must be provided by H1 bidders for JKEL-2 license issuance.
“As some of the successful bidders have provided the documents, others have requested more time for the same and in line with advice received from the Ministry of Finance, the deadline for submitting these documents has been extended to 20 April 2022” , he said, adding that the department was working on a war footing to ensure that all retail outlets start operating as soon as possible.
The Excise Commissioner informed that out of 279 H1 bidders, 28 have become defaulters and 20 have obtained a JKEL02 license, while another 231 are providing the required documents.
In accordance with Excise Policy 2022-23, 279 slots for Type C Licenses (JKEL-2) were auctioned online in February 2022 and the last date for submission of bid amount by H1 bidders was March 31 to make these sells functional by April 1, 2022.

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