The excise department is all set to launch a massive drive against Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to curb unabated sale of spurious alcohol in and around the steel city.
Assistant commissioner (excise), East Singhbhum, Arvind Kujur said units manufacturing spurious liquor and bottling them in the name of reputed brands were mushrooming in different parts of the district.
“We are getting tip-offs about illegal liquor trade and will soon launch a crackdown on the manufacturers of spurious alcohol,” said Kujur.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the assistant commissioner said so far the department had been focusing mainly on illicit country-made liquor but the recent spurt in the sales of IMFL had prompted the police and excise officials to swing into action.
Sources said the state government’s move to raise excise duty on liquor recently by 60 per cent saw the retail prices shooting up sharply. “The price rise in turn has reduced the sale. So many local shops and bars have started selling IMFL to maintain the margin of profit,” said the owner of a liquor shop in Burmamines.
According to him, a majority of the 100 licensed shops and 60 licensed bars had started keeping stocks of IMFL bottles. “But we sell such liquor to only floating customers and not to the regular ones,” he said.
According to police sources, several IMFL manufacturing units are running in places like Gerua in the foothills of Dalma, Hurlung Basti along the Subernarekha River in Birsanagar and Potka. Bottled in the name of big brands, spurious liquors are then supplied to shops and bars in the steel city.
Kujur, who joined as the assistant commissioner replacing Rakesh Kumar two months ago, said he had already given instructions to excise inspectors to identify licensed liquor shops and bars which were selling spurious liquor in the city.
“I have asked the inspectors to prepare a list of licensed shops and bars where spurious liquor is being sold or served. After preliminary investigations, we will raid the places,” said the assistant commissioner.
Notably, a month ago excise department officials had busted an unauthorised liquor manufacturing unit in Potka.
During the raid jointly carried out by the police and excise department,over 2,000 filled bottles, 1,000 empty bottles, labels of reputed brands and sealing machine were seized.