TRS Govt in the process of achieving Bangaru Telangana (:-)♥) issued Secret Orders (G.O) permitting “Elite Liquor Outlets” to sell foreign liquor brands besides premium Indian liquor brands.
Existing liquor shop owners have cried foul over these orders alleging that they were issued to give undue benefit to certain individuals at the cost of normal liquor shops. They said that excise officials had shown favoritism towards elite liquor outlets by liberalizing several norms and alleged huge corruption in this deal. They wanted the government to order an inquiry to bring out the facts behind it.Read More..
The excise department had issued GO Ms No.271 dated 26.10.2016 notifying the rules for setting up elite liquor outlets. However, the GO was not published and kept a secret. The government normally uploads all GOs on its website. In case, it doesn’t want to disclose the contents of GO, it categorizes it as confidential but still uploads the GO.
But in this case, the excise department had not uploaded the GO on the website. Liquor shop dealers say this was done only to cover up their shady deals.
They say though there is a difference of only Rs 25 lakh in licence fee between elite store and normal store, several exemptions are given to elite stores.
“We pay Rs 1.10 crore fee while they pay Rs 1.25 crore. But we cannot sell even water. They are allowed to sell everything. Our shop timings are from 11 am to 10 pm while for them, 11 am to 12 midnight was fixed. Their licence period is for five years while ours is two years. These examples are enough to show how officials favored certain individuals. We will suffer huge losses if the government permits them in our locations,” said a liquor shop owner.
They say for any amendment to excise rules, cabinet approval is a must. But in this case, no cabinet approval was taken and the government too was kept in the dark.