The diktat says, if the sale of liquor during election days shows threefold increase or more, the traders would attract a stern action.
Nagpur News : A bizarre diktat issued by State Excise Department has left foreign liquor traders red-faced and edgy as well. The diktat has hit the wine traders where it hurt the most. The liquor businessmen jumped with joy the day the date for Assembly elections was declared and hoping for mopping a moolah in the “chunavi mahol” (election extravaganza). However, the State Excise Department has issued notices to foreign liquor traders which state that if the sale of the stuff during election days shows threefold increase or more a stern action will be taken against them. Now, the net result of the diktat is that the liquor traders and bar owners are uploading the sale details and messaging to the Department through WhatsApp. But the moot question is: Will the traders go easy and let the opportunity slip their hands in this “warm” atmosphere? No.
A liquor trader on the condition of anonymity said that the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are held after a long gap of five years and the “intoxicating” business suddenly sees a jump 8-10 times in election atmosphere. In the last few elections the Election Commission held the State Excise Department under tight leash and forced it to stop financial losses and shattering of social fabric by acting tough against liquor traders. Moreover, the crime graph also witnesses a climb as result of quantum jump in sale of liquor. Acting on the Election Commission directive, the State Excise Department ordered the liquor traders to upload details of opening stock, sale and closing balance in WhatsApp and message them to the Department on daily basis. The traders too have started implementing the orders but with a tinge of scare in mind. Any message of threefold or more increase in sale of liquor would mean the stuff has been supplied to some poll contesting candidates. It also means that the purchasers too would be in troubled waters along with the sellers, said the trader.
However, the liquor traders who have made their mind to reap massive profits during election period are adopting many tricks to dodge the State Excise Department and its diktat. According to a liquor trader in South Nagpur, many retail and bigwig traders had already started stocking the stuff at different places in massive proportions in anticipation of Assembly elections by showing sale two-threefold more before the elections. This tricky business meant escaping the diktat. The peak demand for liquor would be in the last week of elections and the traders, by dangling the diktat of State Excise Department to prospective candidates, recovering an extra rupee from them. Of course, all this “hera-pheri” (shady deals) are not possible without the alleged connivance with Department babus. It is election time, mopping moolah time, quipped the liquor trader.