Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government collected Rs 670 crore excise revenue by June-end this year even though 340 liquor shops were shut down following the Supreme Court order banning liquor sale within 500 metres of highways, said an official on Friday.
The revenue collection up to June, 2017, crossed Rs 670 crore against the collection of around Rs 659 crore during the same period of last fiscal, thereby marking an increase of 1.5 per cent.
While the state government has sanctioned 4,074 liquor shops in the state, as many as 1,240 shops were closed in compliance with the orders of the apex court, which directed relocation of liquor vends from national and state highways to a distance more than 500 metres.
Of the closed shops, 810 shops have been shifted and reopened as per directives in the court order, said the official.
A review meeting on compliance of the Supreme Court order was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi on Friday.
Reviewing the progress, Padhi directed the department to tighten the enforcement activities and check sale of illicit and spurious liquors.
It was decided in the meeting that information technology would be applied in excise adhesive labels and for tracking of the sale of genuine liquor in authorised shops.
It was further decided to develop bar-coding techniques to ensure the genuineness of the bottles being sold at the counters. Along with this, a trace-and-track mechanism would be put in place connecting the Odisha Beverage Corporation with the genuine counters.
This would help in catching the real sale position at the counters while ensuring sale of the genuine products. A target was set to develop these IT systems within four months, said the official.
Further, the meeting decided to set up Excise Stations in different parts of the state for intensifying the enforcement activities and improving the excise operations.
Review of enforcement activities showed that during 2016-17, a total number of 21,277 cases of violations were detected and 17,784 persons were arrested. (IANS)