‘Track & trace’ system to curb liquor smuggling : The Tribune India

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‘Track & trace’ system to curb liquor smuggling

UT likely to roll out mechanism on Feb 20

‘Track & trace’ system to curb liquor smuggling

Picture for representational purpose only.



Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, February 10

In a bid to curb the rising cases of liquor smuggling, the UT Administration is set to implement a comprehensive ‘track and trace’ system for all liquor bottles. Developed in collaboration with the IT Department and the National Informatics Centre (NIC), the system aims to track every bottle of liquor in real time.

How it will work

  • The ‘track and trace’ system will feature batch numbers and bar coding on each bottle
  • It will enable authorities to identify the source and destination of any smuggled liquor bottle
  • The system is expected to be incorporated in the excise policy
  • The Excise Department and law enforcement agencies anticipate a significant reduction in illegal trade with the new mechanism
  • The system is also expected to enhance excise revenue

Substantial quota

  • Chandigarh witnesses a substantial liquor quota for each financial year, making it an attractive target for smuggling
  • The quota for the current financial year includes 2.71 crore bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor, imported liquor and country liquor, along with over 70 lakh bottles of beer

The move comes following allegations of increased liquor smuggling from the city. The ‘track and trace’ system will feature batch numbers and bar coding on each bottle, enabling online tracking of liquor supplies and aiding authorities in identifying the source and destination of any smuggled liquor bottle.

The system, expected to be incorporated in the upcoming excise policy, will play a pivotal role in monitoring the entire liquor production and transaction cycle. With the ability to trace the origin of liquor, the Excise Department and law enforcement agencies anticipate a significant reduction in illegal trade.

Chandigarh, with a population of around 12.50 lakh, witnesses a substantial liquor quota for each financial year, making it an attractive target for smuggling. The liquor quota for the current financial year includes 2.71 crore bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor, imported liquor and country liquor, along with over 70 lakh bottles of beer.

The ‘track and trace’ mechanism will not only help in preventing smuggling, but is also expected to enhance excise revenue. The system will involve excise officials, depot/warehouses, manufacturers and retailers as users through a web portal/mobile app, allowing them to monitor and control the entire excise supply chain.

While similar systems have been implemented in Punjab and Delhi, Chandigarh’s in-house developed software aims to ensure robust security features to prevent counterfeiting. The system will require liquor licensees to affix holograms and intaglio-printed security labels during bottling and labelling, with a focus on enhancing the security of existing excise adhesive labels.

With the ‘track and trace’ system likely to be rolled out on February 20, the process is likely to be finalised in a meeting scheduled to be held on Monday, said an official. Authorities are optimistic that the initiative would not only strengthen law enforcement efforts but also contribute towards maintaining a fair and legal liquor market in the region.

About The Author

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