Ghaziabad, April 6: In another decision that is likely to hit liquor trade in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has cut down the trading hours. Also, an amendment in the state’s excise policy late last year is likely to put a check on the prevalent practice of inhabitants of the National Capital Region (NCR) hopping over to Delhi to purchase liquor at cheaper rates. As per the amendment to UP Excise Act 1910, importing more than one bottle of liquor from a neighbouring state is a non-bailable offence in the state. It also carries a sentence of up to five years and a fine of Rs 5,000 or ten times the amount the state would have earned from the bottles if purchased within, whichever is higher.

However, none of these rules applies if the bottles are open, says a report in The Times of India. “A person is permitted to bring only a single unit of alcohol at a time into UP from other states and that too only for consumption and not for sale. If more than one bottle being imported is found with the seal intact, it will be presumed it is for sale and the charges of liquor smuggling can be invoked,” said Ghaziabad District Excise Officer Gyanendra Tripathy.

Last year, the state government had assured tough laws against the trade of illicit liquor. UP Excise Minister Jaipratap Singh had said, “To stop poisonous alcohol in UP, which is responsible for a lot of deaths, a new section has been introduced, under which life imprisonment and fine up to Rs. 10 lakh would be imposed on those found guilty, if people die due to consumption of illicit liquor.” The police had also conducted raids at several places and busted hooch rackets.