Wholesale and retail liquor dealers in poll-bound Goa are shutting outlets due to harassment by "over-enthusiastic" excise officials, Dattaprasad Naik, President of the All Goa Liquor Traders' Association, said here on Thursday.
Speaking to IANS, Naik said the excise officials were breathing down the wholesaler and retail liquor dealers' necks and using slightest discrepancies in the books to shut stores.
"This has never happened before. Several liquor stores have shut in Mandrem, Mapusa and even in the state capital. Over 2,000 liquor stores are affected," Naik said.
As most liquor stores in Goa were one-man operations, keeping daily record of sale and stock, as mandated by the poll authority, was difficult, he said.
Naik, a senior state BJP functionary, also said the association met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant earlier this week to seek relief, without any result. "Our delegation met the Chief Minister. He took up the matter with the Excise Commissioner, the police and even election officials. But there has been no relief," Naik said.
When approached, Goa Chief Electoral Officer Kunal said he was not aware of the harassment to liquor dealers. "We will instruct district collectors to suitably brief flying squads to deal with business enterprises," Kunal said.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Goa is wellknown for its liberal liquor regime, where alcohol is taxed less compared with other states.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)