Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan has said that the restrictions that had been imposed on the sale of liquor in the State have not yielded its main objectives.
According to him, the marginal fall in liquor sales through Bevco outlets cannot be inferred as a decrease in the consumption of alcohol.
He was speaking after formally launching the WhatsApp mobile number – 9061178000 – meant for conveying information regarding the illegal sale of alcohol, drugs and other addictive substances, during a function held at the SMV School premises on Monday.
Reiterating that the government stood for liquor abstinence rather than total prohibition, Mr. Ramakrishnan said that there has been an increase of 62 per cent in sales of beer and wine through the liquor outlets across the State.
In addition, huge quantities of liquor were being smuggled in from various places including Mahe on a regular basis.
There has also been information regarding a spurt in attempts to smuggle spirit, arrack and other banned substances.
Efforts were on to appoint more women personnel for the purpose. In addition, proposals to procure equipment including scanners to detect narcotics and contraband in vehicles at check-posts were being considered.
Speaking on the occasion, Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh said that the proactive efforts made by excise officials during the previous two months have resulted in several offenders being nabbed from across the State.
V.S. Sivakumar, MLA presided over the function.
Additional Excise Commissioner (Administration) Jeevan Babu and school principal A. Bindu were among those who spoke on the occasion.