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Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act against ferrying liquor from Goa to Maharashtra will kill trade: Traders



Panaji: Stakeholders associated with Goa’s liquor business have expressed apprehension that if strict action is taken by the Maharashtra government for bringing liquor from Goa, then their business will end. As the Maharashtra government has threatened action under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) against those allegedly bringing liquor from Goa, retailers and wholesalers in the coastal state have said that such action would Surely their business will be affected. The Maharashtra government has reportedly directed its excise department to set up checkpoints on the short routes connecting Goa and Sindhudurg districts to check smuggling of liquor. According to sources, not only tourists coming to Goa by road but many heavy transport vehicles were found smuggling liquor from Goa. Goa Liquor Traders Association President Dattaprasad Naik said that such a move by the Maharashtra government will affect the liquor business in Goa.Naik said, if the Maharashtra government arrests people (taking liquor bottles) and registers cases, it will spread on social media and no one will take the risk of buying liquor from Goa. According to Naik, Goa should take up the matter with the Maharashtra government and resolve the matter. Naik said the Goa government should take up the issue with Maharashtra. The government issues these papers (liquor permits to the visitors) so it has to ensure that they should not take such action in the neighboring states. The Goa government charges Rs 20 for this permit. “We give these permits (to visitors) from Daman and Diu and Odisha. Therefore, those who come to Goa by road cannot leave Maharashtra and go back to their state. Goa’s South district liquor vendor Shailesh Naik said that the move by Maharashtra will have an impact on Goa’s liquor business. When the tourist season starts, many tourists from Maharashtra and other states visit Goa. They used to buy liquor from us on our way back. But now they will not buy it, fearing that if caught, action will be taken against them under MCOCA. He said that many Goans visiting religious places in Maharashtra would now be stopped by the authorities there to check if they were carrying liquor.