Revenue Woes Hit State Excise Department: Shortfall Raises Concerns

In what appears to be a concerning development, the State government’s Excise Department, the second-largest revenue-earning arm, is facing challenges that could impact its annual financial goals. The period from April to August is typically considered a prime revenue-earning time; however, this year tells a different story. The department has fallen short of its revenue target, earning Rs 3,930 crore compared to the expected Rs 4,243 crore, marking a significant shortfall of Rs 313 crore.

There is growing concern that if this trend continues, the department may struggle to achieve its annual target of Rs 13,500 crore for the fiscal year. The newly appointed Commissioner of the department, Om Prakash Kasera, finds himself facing a mountain of challenges just fifteen days into his tenure.

Knowledgeable sources suggest that the revenue deficit can be attributed to the sudden surge in illegal liquor sales in neighboring states and the alleged involvement of departmental officials in these illicit activities. Shockingly, it is being claimed that some officials are prioritizing personal gains over filling the state’s coffers.

Reports indicate that Jaipur city has recorded the largest revenue shortfall, amounting to Rs 35.28 crore, followed by Alwar with Rs 29.55 crore, Jodhpur with Rs 19.40 crore, Nagaur with Rs 16.58 crore, Bikaner with Rs 15.96 crore, Jhunjhunu with Rs 15.57 crore, and Bharatpur with a shortfall of Rs 15.30 crore. There are allegations that Excise Officers in these districts have not fulfilled their duties diligently and that some may have the protection of higher authorities.

A senior officer from the Excise Department expressed, “We are actively exploring strategies to meet the set revenue targets. However, it is proving to be a significant challenge, even to collect the guaranteed amounts from the 7,665 liquor vendors. The shortage of beer this season and a drop in temperatures have led to many liquor vendors failing to meet their commitments.”

This revenue shortfall in the Excise Department has raised serious concerns about fiscal management and the need for robust measures to address the issues at hand.

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