Jammu Wine traders raise concerns over new excise policy, seek revocation

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‘New Excise Policy would eliminate local businessmen from trade, benefit only capitalists from outside J&K’

STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: Raising concern over the government’s new excise policy for 2021-22, aiming to allot new liquor vends through e-auctioning, the members of Jammu Wine Traders Association on Saturday said that traders as well as employees working in this trade will lose their livelihood.
“We reject this policy which is meant for capitalists from outside J&K. None of us can afford to compete in e-auction as we are small traders, who earn livelihood from this business only,” Jammu Wine Traders spokesperson Digvijay Singh said.
He further said that on April 01,2021, he along with a delegation met with Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and apprised him with factual situation as it is a matter of our livelihood.
Demanding continuation of the previous policy, he said that over 30,000 families are directly or indirectly earning their livelihood from this business and most of the present licensees are widows, senior citizens, who have no other source of income. It is also pertinent to mention here that people from other states have already started buying shops in rural areas and are ready to get in e-auction but we the traders of Jammu do not stand anywhere in this bid system.
Digvijay further told that a delegation of few members of Jammu Wine Traders Association led by Chamber Of Commerce President Arun Gupta had also gone to Delhi to meet Dr Jitendra Singh MoS in Prime Minister Office Delhi. Chamber president urged the MoS PMO to intervene and find out an amicable solution to the problem whereby the affected people gets justice and hope to continue to live a life with dignity and honour, which under present circumstances seems to be quite difficult to achieve. Despite of the busy schedule Dr Jitendra Singh gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured that he will not let the livelihood of the people suffer who are associated with this business. Dr Jatinder Singh also assured that he will project their issues at the concerned quarters of the Government
“The New Excise Policy Is nothing but a replica of the policy adopted by Geology and Mining Department and the sufferers will be the general public for sure,” Digvijay said.
He said that while switching over to new excise policy, the government should have taken a lenient view with regard to existing license holders as e-auctioning will put at risk prospects of their survival and sustenance. Earlier government had provided licence to unemployed youth of the J&K State with an undertaking that they will not be given government jobs as this license is being given to them to earn their livelihood and now at this stage when they have become over age for all the competitions, now the government is snatching their livelihood and bringing them on road.
Digvijay Singh added that their licensee are already renewed till year 2023 and they all have done their planning accordingly as they have bank liabilities, loans and family responsibilities. “We urge Lt Governor that if government wants to open new vends we always welcome them they can open as many as new vends desired by them in un-served areas and generate new employment but allow us to continue with our business, Digvijay said.