Assam: Erect posts along Arunachal border to curb bootlegging
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in a meeting with Excise Department officials

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed the Excise Department to set up temporary check posts along the state’s border with Arunachal Pradesh to check illegal influx of liquor from the neighbouring state.

Chairing a review meeting of the Excise Department on Tuesday evening, Sarma also asked senior officials to fill up vacancies in grade-III and IV 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 as well as senior officials.

Sarma urged the officials to carry out their duties with transparency and honesty while assuring 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 on the Excise Department for 2021-22 had also said that many rules are being flouted and recommended 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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