STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Raising concerns over the Government’s proposal on draft excise policy for 2021-22, aiming to allot new liquor vends through e-auction process by closing the already operating shops, Jammu Wine Traders Association (JWTA) on Wednesday said that traders as well as employees working in this trade for the past over 50 years in J&K will lose their livelihood, if this policy will be implemented.“We reject this policy which is detrimental to the locals. None of us can afford to compete in e-auction, ” JWTA Chairman Jagdish Singh Jasrotia told reporters.Demanding continuation of the existing 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 and unemployed youth, who have no other source of income. “The new Excise policy is nothing but a replica of the policy adopted by Geology and Mining Department and the sufferers will be general public for sure,” Jasrotia added.He said that the policy will open up vistas of opportunities for outsiders, including unscrupulous elements to open up their outlets in Jammu & Kashmir and lead to unethical trade practices, adding that policy will encourage smuggling of illicit liquor in a big way, under garb of making supplies to the outlets.Jasrotia also said that delegation of the association along with Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Arun Gupta also met Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh who gave assurance that no person or family of Jammu and Kashmir working with wine trade will face any difficulty as their interests will be taken care of. He also said that Dr Jitendra Singh also assured that he will project their issues at the concerned quarters for favourable response. “Most of us are well qualified and given prime days of our youth to the trade. We worked continuously and contributed a lot to the Government’s revenue but it is sad to say that government has deceived us. If this policy is implemented, we would not be able to find jobs anywhere else, as majority among us are over-aged,” he said .JWTA Chairman urged the Central government and Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha to intervene into the matter and resolve their issues. Chairman Jagdish Singh Jasrotia was flanked by Charanjeet Singh and others members during a press conference.
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