23 November, 2020

The Final Seconds

Krishna goes after non-duty-paid liquor, figures follow

Pranav Purushotham
The Final Seconds
For decades, liquor has been a mother lode of power and pelf for politicians and businessmen in Karnataka. It has raised the spirits of many a politician who has benevolently looked away when markets were flooded with 'seconds', a euphemism for non-duty-paid liquor. Political parties have even gifted away plum positions in Bangalore and faraway New Delhi to leading lights of the liquor lobby.

But now, some of the tycoons and their political patrons are beginning to sweat as CM S.M. Krishna has set out to hit them where it hurts the most: corporatise (take over) the distribution and sale of every ounce of IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) produced in Karnataka to thwart the flow of seconds into the market. According to sources, the quantum of non-duty-paid liquor was four times that of stocks arriving with duty-paid stamp.

The initiative has already set the cash registers ringing for the government. It has also discovered that the industry had fudged the volume of sales in order to escape paying taxes. In its two months' existence, the new entity called Karnataka State...


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