A digitisation initiative has now enabled the Goa’s Excise Department to monitor the process of liquor production in the state, track its movement, and help an otherwise debt-burdened state to identify revenue generative excise slabs. It is to the credit of this evolving interface — initially designed in 2014 — that Amit Satija, Commissioner of Excise, says the department was able to zero in on Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) category of liquor as the more excise generative vertical than beer. “Eventually that is its core purpose, helping shape policies, build revenue for the government, and create accountability and transparency and better business environment,” says Satija.
The online repository, named Goa Excise Management System, today has a live interface with over 7,000 bars, and around 60 distilleries and manufacturing units, with over 2,000 liquor labels registered. With Goa following the Portuguese administrative models, the excise department functions very differently from other state excise offices across the country, parallel to a vast and diverse model of distribution. Initially, documents including licences, permits, no-objection certificates were all punched in physically, with piles of documents required for transport or commercial purchase and sale of liquor at the distributor and retailer’s end.
With the new interface, excise officials say the whole exercise is now on the virtual world — with records saved for posterity, cutting any scope for fudging documents.
In 2014, when the interface was designed a need was felt as the short-staffed excise offices were burdened with growing liquor needs of a tourism state involved files left pending at various levels, delay in sanctioning permits, or worse, files getting lost. Complaints kept piling, and documents at several levels went through several cycles of scrutiny.
“By 2016 -2017, we steadily improved the management and the digitisation reached a state where ‘moving the file’ stopped. The physical file as we know is now eliminated,” says Satija.
In short, the exercise accounts for the liquor manufactured at every stage, with a full production of raw material to end product accounted for, thus enabling pilferages to be curbed.
Further, the whole licence history of every unit is monitored and granted through the interface with all the corresponding documents saved in the server — and available when needed.
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