Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has directed Excise officials to set up temporary check posts along the state’s boundary with Arunachal Pradesh to check illegal influx of liquor from the neigbhbouring state.
Chairing a review meeting of the Excise Department on Tuesday evening, Sarma also asked senior officials to fill up vacancies in grade-3 and grade-4 categories so that the department functions with full capacity and efficiency.
He also discussed various other issues concerning the department with Excise Minister Parimal Shuklabadya and senior officials.
Sarma urged the officials to carry out their duties with transparency and honesty, and assured them of all assistance from the government in mitigating their genuine grievances related to work.
In August last year, an Assam Assembly committee had found that the state Excise Department did not take “sufficient steps” to prevent illegal liquor trade along the border areas and suggested forming an armed battalion of its own to control “accelerating” unlawful activities.
The Departmentally Related Standing Committee on Development (A) Departments of Assam Legislative Assembly, in its report for Excise Department for 2021-22, had also said that many set rules are being flouted and asked the authorities to enforce them strictly.
“The committee observes that sufficient steps have not been taken by the department concerned in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh in case of influx of liquor.
“Therefore, the committee strongly recommends that the Excise Department takes necessary steps to check influx of liquor from Arunachal Pradesh by putting in place ‘check points’ and increase vigilance and enforcement activities in the districts bordering Arunachal Pradesh,” the report had said.
The committee had noted that revenue collection by the department increased by 23.89 per cent to Rs 2,031.33 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 1,639.61 crore in the previous fiscal.
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