Guwahati, Friday, March 29, 2019
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Excise dept prepares Bill to check molasses trade
Rituraj Borthakur
 GUWAHATI, March 28 - A month after the spurious liquor tragedy that claimed over 150 lives in the State, the Excise department has prepared a draft Bill that seeks to control production, supply and distribution of molasses in Assam.

The Assam Molasses Control Bill, 2019 has been sent to the government, and if cleared by the Cabinet it is likely to be tabled in the next Assembly session, official sources said.

Sulai (country spirit), consumption of which led to the death of more than 150 people last month in the two districts of Golaghat and Jorhat, is distilled from fermented molasses - a heavy dark coloured residual syrup drained away in the final stage of the manufacture of sugar or by refining gur. There was no law to control molasses trade in the State.

The Bill seeks to regulate the production, storage, transport and distribution of molasses through license or permits.

People engaged in the production, supply or distribution of molasses will have to maintain account books and records relating to their business which will have to be produced during inspections.

The Bill prescribes a punishment of five years imprisonment and fine of Rs 10 lakh for violators of the new law. In case the offence is committed by a company or corporate, every director, manager, secretary and other senior officers will be held guilty.Some States like Bihar have Acts to control molasses trade.

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