UP govt devises new rule to put a check on drinking by teenagers.
Lucknow: To check growing liquor consumption among teenagers, the Yogi Adityanath government is preparing to sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) through the cashless system.
“Liquor outlets will be required to keep swipe machines so that people can use their credit/debit cards to buy liquor. We believe that with the introduction of the cashless system, teenagers will be dissuaded from liquor consumption. If they still drink, at least their parents will be aware of it,” said UP minister for excise Jai Pratap Singh.
Mr Singh said that the new cashless policy for liquor sale would be introduced from the next financial year.
According to rough estimation, nearly 80 per cent students in colleges and universities begin liquor consumption at the undergraduate levels.
“We have boys who are underage and buy liquor but we cannot refuse because it affects our sale,” said a liquor shop owner in Lucknow.
Since most teenagers use cash to buy liquor, the cashless transactions will prove a major deterrent.
The minister said that the government wanted only responsible persons, who were aware of the consequences of consumption, to get access to liquor. “Those who are not yet adult should be discouraged from drinking,” he said.
The minister said that removal of liquor shops form highways, as per Supreme Court orders, had led to a loss of Rs 2000 crore to the state exchequer.
“Out of the 8000 such outlets, only 2000 could be given an alternative place to run the shop,” he said.
The state government also plans to install the GPS tracking system in all vehicles used to ferry liquor. The minister said, “Through this new technology, we are confident of checking illicit liquor trade which, in turn, will boost our revenue collection.” The Yogi government will introduce its new excise policy from April 2018 and the government plans to break the syndicate system in liquor trade.