STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A delegation of salesmen of various liquor shops of Jammu visited office of Excise Commissioner on Friday to apprise him of their reservations about Draft Excise Policy 2021-22. The delegation met the Deputy Excise Commissioner, Amarjit as Commissioner was not available in the office and apprised him of their demands.The delegation also staged a protest outside Commissioner’s office demanding reconsideration of policy. The salesmen apprehend that if draft policy is effectuated, it will render them jobless. Speaking to media persons, Romesh Verma, a salesman said, “We have sacrificed the days of our youth for this trade. We work continuously for 12 hours each day, which is humanly impossible, and that too for very meager salary and without any days off, except a few dry days. The Government has deceived us. We won’t be able to find jobs anywhere else, as there is already a dearth jobs in the market.” Another protesting salesman Khem Raj said, “Government is trying to bite the hands that provide it exchequer. I suspect that e-auctioning will give birth to nexus and lead to a culture of ‘proxy licenses’, wherein affluent people from neighbouring states will acquire licenses in names of UT natives, as happened in Geology and Mining Department’s auctioning, which has drastically resulted into exclusion of local people.”Som Nath, another salesman said, “Being a domicile of Jammu & Kashmir and a salesman of an existing retail vend, I request Excise Commissioner not to implement this policy as it can adversely affect life cycle of the salesmen and people dependent upon them. There are around 223 liquor shops in J&K and around 30,000 families are directly or indirectly connected with these shops. Most of us salesmen are sole breadwinners in our families.”The DEC gave them a patient hearing and assured that their matter will be discussed with higher authorities.
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