November 27, 2021
Chandigarh: The International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI), apex body of the premium alcoholic beverages sector, has requested the Punjab government for checks and enforcement to counter the trade of illicit and spurious liquor.
The association recommended a “balanced, pragmatic and transparent approach” to deal with the AlcoBev business in the state for promoting responsible consumption and building economic opportunity. It said spurious liquor damaged health and stunted the government’s ability to tax and control legally produced alcohol. Market estimates suggest that in the year 2019-20, Punjab’s revenue loss due to illicit liquor trade was Rs SS crore for country liquor and Rs 355 crore for Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL).
After the hooch tragedies in Tarn Taran, Amritsar, and Gurdaspur, the state government launched ‘Operation Red Rose’ to nail excise-related crimes, track the smugglers, and do administrative coordination to check illicit distillation, smuggling, and fake branding of liquor but the measures were not sustained.