Guwahati: The Assam government has come under for its decision to grant fresh licences for around 20 new Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) shops in the state.

Opposition Congress has termed the move as ‘a failure of administration’.

Assam excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that the decision to open new liquor shops is to ensure that people drink good quality liquor.

He further said the move to open new liquor shops will also counter the sale of liquor which is smuggled in from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.

Reacting to minister Suklabaidya’s statement, the Leader of the opposition Debabrata Saikia the minister himself is admitting the failure of the state police and administration in curbing smuggling of liquor from Arunachal Pradesh and also their inability to stop brewing and sale of illicit alcohol in Assam.

“Assam government’s decision to allow more wine shops will destroy our new generations and turn the rural areas into hub of anti-social activities,” said an activist.

According to government figures, revenue from the sale of liquor jumped from around Rs 400 crore annually in 2016, when the first BJP-led government took charge, to nearly Rs 3,000 crore in the last financial year.

The increase in revenue was also attributed to the hike in liquor tax from anywhere between 25% and 65% depending on brands.

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