FROM STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Dec 13: A section of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) retail outlets, popularly called as wine shops along GS Road at Khapara in Assam-Meghalaya border, are brazenly flouting norms, due to the apparent apathy of the Excise department and police.
Sources said these liquor shops do not adhere to shop timings and sell liquors even on Sunday. on Sunday, these outlets operate partly downing their shutters and supplying liquor to customers from rear doors.
As per Excise policy norms, liquor shops are not allowed to sell liquor on Sunday in the State.
Sources further said these shops also never issue bill receipts to the customers and charge 15 to 20 per cent extra than the price fixed by the Government.
“These extra charges are above the printed maximum retail price (MRP). On an average, the traders charge Rs 50 above the retail price in Shillong,” sources added.
“When customers question about the extra charge, they cited a government notification but can never produce it to the customers,” a customer pointed out.
When contacted, an Assistant Commissioner of Excise, however, told The Sentinel that there is no such notification to charge extra against liquor beyond the prescribed rate.
“The rate is uniform throughout the State,” the Assistant Commissioner stated even as he urged the customers to insist on the cash memo for any procurement.
Based on the disclosure of the customers, some of these unscrupulous alcohol sellers simply shunted them out if a cash memo is asked.
The Excise department official said that customers should file written complaints with the department against such practices of the liquors shops.
The State Excise department known for its lackadaisical approach, as evident from its ibility to il the illegal boost joints within the heart of Shillong city still believes that an official complaint will help them in taking action against the culprits.
The Superintendent of Excise, Ri Bhoi district could not be contacted for comments. However, Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi district, Pooja Pandey told The Sentinel on Saturday that a team will be sent to find out if such unwanted practices are going on.
“It was never brought to our notice and if such practices are going on, we will definitely take action”, Pandey said.
There are numerous IMFL outlets in Khapara (within Meghalaya) that cropped up after the Assam was declared a dry state in the 1990s. They flourished and re-flourished on the basis that alcohol is dearer in Assam than Meghalaya.