Holograms to help curb spurious liquor supply

With the intention to certify the originality of liquor, the Maharashtra state excise department has decided to introduce holograms on all liquor bottles manufactured in the state. This technique is used to deter and check duplication and adulteration of liquor.

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The state has been witnessing a growing number of issues related to duplication, adulteration and sale of illicit liquor. Since the past few years, the state has become an easy target for bootleggers bringing liquor in illegally from Goa, Daman and other neighbouring states. With a surge in such activities showing a spike and liquor prices skyrocketing over the past two years, the concerned department has been mulling ways to curb the menace.

“The hologram will act as a tamper-proof seal and will be pasted on the bottle at the manufacturing facility itself. The move will also enable us to monitor liquor sales easily once implemented. For example, if we have issued say about 50,000 holograms, we will know that 50,000 bottles are in the market. If that number shows a mismatch while taking accounts, then we can easily nab the culprits involved in bootlegging,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, excise commissioner.

Mukherjee added that the department will shortly be floating tenders and the hologram technique is likely to be in place by May. The department has already hired a firm to help with designing the hologram. “Everything is ready and the newly introduced holograms will grace liquor bottles in May. Consumers can see if the hologram is in place, and if it is not they can reject the bottle, as there are possibilities that it contains spurious liquor. Chances that the holograms can be duplicated are unlikely, hence consumers can now rely completely on this means to be sure that they are getting genuine brands,” Mukherjee said.

Seventeen states in the country are already using holograms on liquor bottles. Mandated usage of hologram has minimised tragedies due to consumption of spurious liquor. Last year, states such Delhi and J&K started using holograms on liquor bottles. According to sources, after due deliberations, excise minister Ganesh Naik approved holograms on liquor bottles. “After a series of meetings with the minister, the proposal was passed. The department is all set to float tenders for the same,” Mukherjee said. 

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