Monday, January 23, 2012

Holograms made mandatory on all Liquor bottles in Jharkhand. J&K to follow suit..

This pic is for representational purposes only
It will be 18th state in the country to adopt the practice aimed at increasing revenue and checking sale of spurious liquor. Yes, Jharkhand will be the 18th State in the country that will be shortly making a mandate for all the liquor companies to use Hologram on their bottles to prevent counterfeiting.

The step will help the Jharkhand State Excise in increasing revenue as well as in minimizing the tragedies due to illicit liquor, a statement from Hologram Manufacturers’ Association of India (HOMAI) said.

In India more than 17 States & UT are already using hologram on liquor bottles. Mandated usage of hologram in these States like Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Pondicherry, Delhi, Chhattisgarh etc. has not only minimized the tragedies due to spurious liquor but have also substantially increased the excise revenue collection by more than 25-30 per cent.

For example the state using holograms are earning more revenue. In 2010-11 the revenue earned by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh excise was Rs 8,115 crore & Rs 6,725 respectively, while States which are similar in capacity to population and size such as Maharashtra & West Bengal only able to peg Rs 5,800 crore and Rs 1,770 crore only.

Jammu & Kashmir also plans to follow suit

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir is also planning to introduce holograms on the liquor bottles entering the state from Lakhanpur, to rein in on the adulterated and illicit liquor, which has become a major menace for the state. Official sources said that in recent past there has been increase in the cases, where the excise department has detected adulterated liquor making its way in the state. To deal with the menace, the Excise and Taxation Department has decided to introduce tamper proof holograms on the bottles.

Despite many religious and cultural taboos, liquor consumption is showing increased trend in Jammu and Kashmir. “It is proving difficult for the department to keep a check on liquor adulteration because of the increased consumption. The problem is more in the rural areas”, said an officer.

For the purpose the department has submitted a detailed proposal to the government to get the approval for the same. Sources said that the concept has been borrowed from Punjab and Himanchal Pradesh, where the authorities are facing the menace of illegal distilleries.

As per the new concept the temper proof multi-coloured holograms seals would be put on each bottle to enable easy detection of the counterfeit products.

Finance Ministry data shows that 11, 444, 94 cases of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) were produced in 2008-09 in the state, while this number increased to 14, 23,954 cases in 2009-10.

As far as local liquor is concerned, 11, 23,112 cases were produced in 2008-09 and 13, 53, 505 cases in 2009-10. As many as 12, 44,969 cases of beer were produced in the state in 2008-09, while this number touched to 16, 10,558 cases in 2009-10.
Important to note here that since past two years government has not issued any new liquor licences, but despite this the consumption, particularly that of beer has shown increased trend, which is also a big revenue generator for the state.

As per the official figures, there are 226 liquor shops owned by private parties in the state. Of these, 135 are in Jammu city, 21 in Udhampur district and 40 in Kathua. Srinagar has 4, Baramulla one and Leh has two shops.