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Odisha Excise Minister Calls for Stringent Measures Against Illicit Liquor and Drug Menace

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Excise Minister Prithviraj Harichandan chaired a crucial review meeting on Tuesday, directing departmental officials to ramp up efforts in combating the illicit liquor trade and addressing the menace of brown sugar consumption in the state. The meeting underscored the urgent need for proactive measures to curb these illegal activities.

Minister Harichandan emphasized the deployment of additional personnel within the Excise Department to bolster enforcement actions and intensify crackdowns on illicit liquor and narcotics trafficking networks. He stressed the adoption of advanced technologies to enhance operational efficiency, along with ensuring transparency across all departmental functions.

“In our concerted efforts to combat the scourge of illicit liquor and drug abuse, leveraging technology and enhancing the capacity of our officers are paramount,” stated Minister Harichandan during the review meeting.

Highlighting the necessity for expanding warehouse facilities under the Odisha State Beverage Corporation, Minister Harichandan instructed officials to prepare a proposal to address this crucial requirement promptly.

The Minister also underscored the importance of regular training programs for departmental employees to enhance their skills and capabilities. He proposed the establishment of an Excise Academy to facilitate continuous learning and professional development among the workforce.

Additionally, Minister Harichandan urged coordinated efforts with other government departments to rehabilitate and reintegrate drug addicts into mainstream society following successful de-addiction programs.

Principal Secretary Sushil Kumar Lohani welcomed Minister Harichandan to the department, presenting him with a floral bouquet and a traditional stole in a ceremonial gesture. Lohani briefed the Minister on the department’s ongoing operational activities and provided an overview of key initiatives undertaken in previous fiscal years.

Excise Commissioner Narsingh Bhol and Managing Director of Odisha State Beverage Corporation, Amber Kar, also apprised Minister Harichandan of their respective divisions’ operational strategies and achievements during the meeting.

The review meeting was attended by Additional Secretary Mary Lakra, Special Secretary Archana Dasnayak, and Financial Advisor Ramesh Chandra Dakua, among other senior officials from the Excise Department.

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