Special excise adhesive labels, inspection teams and a state-of-the-art lab are some of the steps planned by the Delhi government to regulate the conduct of retail liquor vends and check tax evasion and sale of spurious alcohol. The new Excise Policy 2021-22, which was approved in June, was uploaded on the Excise department's website on Monday.
According to the policy, the Excise Department has introduced Excise Adhesive Labels (EALs) with high-end security features manufactured by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) to avoid tax evasion and plug leakages in the supply chain. These EALs have necessary clauses regarding advanced technology and high-security features like anti-counterfeiting special tag printing ink, mark with 3-D features and online verification of labels with Checko App used in the printing of EAL, developed by IIT Kanpur. The EALs manufactured by SPMCIL shall be implemented in a timely manner.
"The new labels have high-end security features which cannot be cloned and duplicated, thereby extenuating the chances of duty evasion. Further, till the implementation of the new barcodes, the present system of bar-coding and ordering through Excise Supply Chain Information Management System (ESCIMS) will continue," it says. The policy also states that Special Inspection Teams will be set up to constantly check and examine the conduct and operation of retail vends and warehouses to ensure that none of the licensing terms are being violated.
"This will be done to maintain the quality standard that is expected of any shop being set up in Delhi," according to the policy document. An officer will be appointed as Deputy Commissioner (Wholesale Operations), it said.
The policy also states that teams will be set up to systematically pick up samples from bonded warehouses, retail vends, hotels, clubs and restaurants across all brands and the report of the same will be published on the website. "Any L-1 license holder or retail shop owner found in possession spurious liquor will lose their entire licence and will be subject to criminal proceedings as per applicable laws. "They will be permanently blacklisted and barred from operating in Delhi, and in good faith, the information of the same will be provided to the Excise Department of all other states (sic)," the document said.
While stating that the supply of spurious liquor is a serious public health hazard, the policy states that the Delhi government will set up a state-of-the-art lab that will specialise in detecting spurious and counterfeit liquor. The government will work with the industry to set the safety standards and practices for it, the policy says.