Chandigarh: Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Thursday said that the Punjab Excise Department has registered a historic revenue growth of Rs 2,587 crore (41.41 percent) in FY 2022-23 compared to FY 2021. 22. He said that the excise department collected a revenue of Rs. 8,841.4 Cr during 2022-23 with a revenue of Rs. 6254.74 crore in the financial year 2021-22.
At a press conference at Punjab Bhawan, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema attributed the record 41.41 percent increase to the new excise policy. He said that during the previous government regimes, the state’s excise collections had seen very little revenue growth and at times the excise collections had even grown negatively. During the release of the figures, it was revealed that there was a negative growth rate of -1.2 percent in the financial year 2022-2023, with Rs 6,254.74 billion collected compared to the previous year. The year 2020-21 showed an increase of 23.7% compared to the previous years, with a value of 6335 Kr. But in 2019-20 there was a negative growth of -0.7 percent with a collection of Rs 5,117 crore, a growth of 0.33 percent in 2018-19 with a collection of Rs. 5155.86 Crores, an increase of 16.6 percent in 2017-18 with a collection of 5139 Crores and again a negative growth of -8.15 percent in 2016-17 with a collection of 4406 Crores compared to the previous years.
Advocate Cheema said that the excise department has also successfully completed retail liquor sales for the year 2023-24. “2023. the process of allocating 171 excise groups started on March 11, which was successfully completed on March 31, 2023,” said the finance minister, adding that the ministry had exceeded its target of 7,989 million license fees. and for the financial year 2023-2024 it has actually reached the discovered license fee amount of 8007.45 crores. He said the excise department has set a total revenue collection target of Rs 9,754 crore for the year 2023-24, but is confident that the department will achieve Rs. 10,000 million number.
Responding to a media inquiry on enforcement activities, the finance minister said that the excise department has been consistently carrying out effective enforcement using technology and proper coordination with civil and police authorities. He said that from April 1, 2022 to February 8, 2023, a total of 6,317 FIRs were filed by the ministry, 6,114 arrests were made, 1,48,693 liters of alcoholic beverages were detected, and 5,06,607 liters of liquor were seized. recovered and destroyed, 1,74,468 liters of PML/IMFL/Beer/liquor were seized, 71476 liters of ENA were recovered, 308 working stills (Bhatti) were recovered and destroyed and 592 vehicles involved in liquor smuggling were seized. . He said Drone technology is also being used to capture real-time images of hard-to-reach places where illicit brewing is taking place, besides using hand-held monitors to check the strength of confiscated/seized liquor.
He further added that a Track and Trace program has been put in place to track and trace the movement of beverages from the manufacturer to wholesale and retail. This enabled departmental staff to monitor the movement of licensees’ liquor and stock supplies down to the retail level.
“Under the auspices of Track and Trace project Excise QR Code Label Verification Citizen App has also been launched in the state of Punjab to ensure that no genuine/fake/non-duty free liquor is sold in the state of Punjab. . This mobile app works on all Android and iOS mobile phones,” he added.
Responding to a question about the inspection of the distilleries, Cheema said that mass flow meters have been installed in the production units to monitor the production of spirits. A very robust IT infrastructure and online remote monitoring system has been installed at Excise Bhawan to keep a vigilant eye on the production and flow of liquor from the distilleries.
The finance minister also said that the new excise policy also seeks to strictly control the smuggling of liquor from neighboring countries through extensive enforcement and the incorporation of new technological measures.
The finance ministry said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has made several efforts to eradicate the liquor mafia besides increasing the excise revenue of the state to fulfill all the commitments and promises made to the people.
Financial Commissioner (Taxation) Vikas Pratap and Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam were also present, among others.
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