The Excise Directorate under the Finance Department, Government of West Bengal is one of the major revenue-earning directorates for the Government of West Bengal. The operations of the Excise Directorate Centre around the enforcement of regulations relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, transport, supply, selling, and buying of liquor and other intoxicants. The Directorate strives to achieve the twin needs of preventing the manufacture, supply, and distribution of illicit/counterfeit/spurious liquor and/or non-duty-paid intoxicants and attaining the full realizable revenue potential of the state.
The main objective of the policy of the State Government on intoxicating liquors is that their consumption has to be socially controlled. The policy is, therefore, not to encourage indiscriminate growth in the consumption of intoxicants but to socially regulate it in a manner such that the persons who are already consuming intoxicants steadily turn away from consumption of illicitly distilled liquor/spurious liquor/counterfeit liquor/non-duty paid liquor and other non-duty paid intoxicants to socially restrained and regulated consumption of intoxicants from authorized and legitimate sources. This would also ensure both safeties against health hazards and also lead to a consequential growth in revenue.
The Department achieves these objectives by
- Granting and regulating licenses for the manufacture, wholesale and retail sale of liquor and spirits used for the manufacture of liquor.
- Authorizing the manufacture and /or sale of brands of bottled liquor in the state, through a process of registration of brands of foreign liquor, colored and flavored spirit, and of country spirit and of the labels under which they can be manufactured and/or sold.
- Regulating the movement of liquor and spirit used for the manufacture of liquor, into, throughout, and from the state, through the grant and administration of relevant import, export, and transport pass.
- Monitoring and maintaining records of inventories of liquor and spirits used for the manufacture of liquor at all the liquor–manufacturing, wholesale and retail locations in the state.
- Operating mechanisms for collection of state excise duties on liquor and fees and other levies charged and imposed by the government on the manufacture, distribution, and sale of liquor.
- Carrying out enforcement activities against the illegal manufacture of liquor and against the distribution and sale of such illegally manufactured liquor and liquor on which the requisite state excise duties and/or fees have not been paid.
- Carrying out enforcement activities against the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of narcotics.
- Regulating the manufacture, supply, distribution, and sale of spirits and narcotics drugs for medicinal and industrial purposes through the issue and administration of relevant licenses, permits, and passes.
The Excise administration of Malda District under the control of the District Magistrate & Collector, Malda performs the regulatory functions to fulfill the objective. Excise Officers under respective units are monitoring the movement of liquor from the licit sources. Regular enforcement activities are going on against the illicit liquor by the respective units under the provision of the Bengal Excise Act,1909 & N.D.P.S Act.1985. Apart from this, awareness programs among the mass are regularly done by the administration regarding the ill effect of illicit liquor and making them aware of the penal provisions of illegal activities. In tribal areas, regular preventive activities are going on and a rehabilitation program has been initiated by the District Administration to divert them from the illegal manufacturing of liquor and to provide alternative means of livelihood. In the past, the Malda District was severely affected by the illegal cultivation of opium poppy plants but with active cooperation with the entire administration, the target of “Zero cultivation” has been achieved, and all measures are being taken to retain the same in the future.