STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A day after Jammu and Kashmir administration released the draft excise policy for 2021-22, Jammu Wine Traders Association (JWTA) on Wednesday raised concerns over the proposal to allot liquor vends through the e-auction process. The association said the traders may lose their livelihood if not being able to compete in the e-auction process. “We reject this policy which is meant for rich and outsiders. None of us can afford to compete in the e-auction as we are small traders who earn their livelihood from this business for decades,” JWTA President Charanjeet Singh told media persons at Jammu Press Club.Demanding continuation of the existing policy, he said, 30,000 families are directly or indirectly involved in earning their livelihood from this business and most of the present licensees are widows, senior citizens and unemployed youth who have no other source of income.“The outsiders can bid a huge amount of money, which is required to run this business as per new draft policy, thus snatching livelihood from local traders,” Singh said.Seeking the intervention of Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in addressing their concerns, the JWTA president said the government can issue new licenses in unserved areas while safeguarding their interests.He said the liquor traders are working as revenue collecting agents of the government and fully abide by the rules and regulations. “We started contributing Rs 2,500 monthly towards Social Responsibility Corpus fund after submitting a proposal to the then J&K government in 2015-16 and recommended the transfer of an amount of Rs three crore to J&K relief fund from it in March last year after realising the gravity of coronavirus pandemic,” he said, adding they have also donated 13 ambulances and relief items over the years.
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