Chandigarh eyes 'track & trace' system to check smuggling of liquor : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh eyes 'track & trace' system to check smuggling of liquor

Chandigarh eyes 'track & trace' system to check smuggling of liquor

To check the smuggling of liquor from the city, the UT Excise and Taxation Department is going to introduce a “track and trace” system.



Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, October 3

To check the smuggling of liquor from the city, the UT Excise and Taxation Department is going to introduce a “track and trace” system.

Under the system, barcodes and batch numbers will be put up on liquor bottles and cartons, which will provide all information regarding the manufacturer, date and other contents.

An official of the department said the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) had been roped in as project management consultant. It was in the process of inviting a request for proposal (RFP) for engagement of a firm for the development of a “track and trace” system for manufacturing, transport, distribution and consumption of liquor.

After the RFP, a firm would be finalised to implement and monitor the system in Chandigarh, he added.

Due to its low cost in the city, liquor is being smuggled to other states, including Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat.

On Sunday, Punjab Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang had alleged that a large quantity of illegal and adulterated liquor was being smuggled into Punjab every day from Chandigarh.

To curb the smuggling of liquor, the UT Excise and Taxation Department has been regularly holding coordination meetings with its Punjab and Haryana counterparts, said Vinay Pratap Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Excise and Taxation Commissioner. It was also decided that regular officer-level meetings should be held and information sharing mechanism established to curb the inter-state smuggling of liquor. The Excise Department will continue taking stringent action against any individual or establishment found involved in such illegal activities. Also, those found involved in duty evasion will be held accountable under excise laws.

The department earlier introduced 3D holograms on every bottle being sold and stored by the licensee in Chandigarh. The aim of introducing the hologram was to prevent liquor from being smuggled out of the city besides ensuring that the duty was paid on the stock lying with dealers.

The department has also deployed ex-servicemen at each of the 12 bottling plants in the city. It has taken stringent action against 11 retail liquor vends, four bottling units and two pubs/bar for violations of the Excise Act in the current policy year.

After implementation of the Excise Policy 2023-24 from April 1, 18 liquor vends have remained unsold out of a total of 95 even after conducting 18 auctions. The last auction was held on July 18, which for the fifth consecutive time, failed to attract any bidder. No bidder had come forward even during the 5th, 8th, 9th and 12th round.

The first auction was held on March 15 and the department has been slashing the reserve price by around 5% since round 3, dropping it up to 50% by round 18.

In 2022-23, the department was able to sell 93 out of a total of 96 vends after conducting seven auctions.

SPIC project mgmt consultant

Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) had been roped in as project management consultant. It was in the process of inviting a request for proposal for engagement of a firm for the development of a “track and trace” system for manufacturing, transport, distribution and consumption of liquor. A firm would be finalised to implement and monitor the system in Chandigarh.

Barcodes, batch numbers

Under the system, barcodes and batch numbers will be put up on liquor bottles and cartons, which will provide all information regarding the manufacturer, date and other contents.

No takers for 18 vends

After implementation of the Excise Policy 2023-24 from April 1, 18 liquor vends have remained unsold out of a total of 95 even after conducting 18 auctions. The last auction was held on July 18, which for the fifth consecutive time, failed to attract any bidder.

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