HYDERABAD: Excise officials, who frequently come under attack from bootleggers when they conduct raids, will soon get advanced weapons to defend themselves and also crackdown on criminals.
The Telangana government will sanction funds to buy advanced weapons for the excise officials in State, Excise Minister T Padma Rao Goud said Monday. A proposal for procuring new weapons and vehicles for the excise department will be sent to the State government soon.
Excise officials do not carry arms but special teams, who conduct raids on bootleggers and ID manufacturers, sometimes do. Their weapons, however, are outdated. Addressing toddy workers from across the State and excise officials at a programme here, the Minister said the State government had already made plans to modernise the department and crtiticised the previous governments for its present condition. Rao said currently many district excise offices were functioning from rental buildings and there were not enough vehicles for the officials too. With the aim of giving a new shape to one of the highest revenue earning departments, the State government will soon make an announcement, he said. The excise department contributes the most to the State’s coffers after the commercial taxes department.
The Excise Minister also had good news for the excise officials. He said pending promotions in the department will soon be given to eligible staff. To meet current requirement, the government will also recruit additional employees, he promised.
He gave away ex gratia to the families of toddy farmers who died in accidents while working. Currently, the government is giving only Rs 2 lakh, but it will soon be raised to Rs 5 lakh, he promised.
R V Chandravadan, commissioner, excise department, who was also present at the programme, advised toddy workers to be alert about supply of illegal liquor. Soon a toll-free number will be launched to receive information on non-duty paid liquor, he said. In the past few months, illegal liquor worth around Rs 90 crore has been found in Telangana, the commissioner revealed.