The excise department in Pune has seized liquor worth Rs 54,000 while it was being transported illegally on December 31 to be served at various parties in the city.
Sunil Fulpagar, deputy superintendent of state excise in Pune, said: “The liquor stock was seized because it did not have the mandatory permission to sell in the state.”
This New Year’s eve, permit rooms, hotels, restaurants and clubs in the city were allowed to serve alcohol till 5 am. The deadline was 3 am in rural areas.
Twelve teams of the state excise department and nearly 30 teams from the entertainment department visited various farm houses and permit rooms and bars in the city on December 31 and registered five cases against small clubs serving alcohol without the mandatory permission under the Bombay Prohibition Act.
“By and large, people abided by rules and fortunately, we did not have to register a single case of spurious liquor, which was the main concern of the excise department,” an official said, adding that state excise commissioner Vijay Singhal had given strict instructions to teams in districts to keep a watch on spurious liquor.
With 202 one-day permits to sell alcohol issued on December 31 and over one lakh permits issued for individual drinking for the same day, the excise department collected Rs 26.50 lakh, nearly Rs 6.7 lakh more than its last year’s collection, which was Rs 19.80 lakh. Last year, only 165 permits were issued, said an excise official. Against its revenue target of Rs 1,737 crore for the current financial year, the excise department in Pune has so far collected Rs 892 crore. The state’s target in excise revenue collection is Rs 15,000 crore.
From January to November in 2015, the district registered 2,933 cases of stocking or selling illegal liquor. During its raids, the excise department has seized 250 vehicles, 190 lakh litres of Indian made foreign liquor, 161 lakh litres of country liquor and 330 lakh litres of beer.