Asked if they could do so, Naem replied in the affirmative. "They can sell the old bottles at new rates," he added, saying the liquor rates were increased after the government raised sales tax and assessment fee.
Padha and other callers, however, refused to accept the ETO's version and pointed out that selling a product on a price higher than MRP (maximum retail price) was in itself a crime. "It leads to the violation of the related law," they asserted.
Naem, who termed as legal the retaliers' act of revising the selling price of old bottles on their own, did not elaborate on the MRP issue. Law says if a retailer sells a product on price higher then MRP, one can approach the concerned department, or the consumer court with the bill issued by him.
Meanwhile, the people also alleged that the illegal sale of country-made liquor pouches was thriving on the outskirts of Bhaderwah and at places like Jai. The excise officials were in knowhow of all this but they were yet to take any action in this regard, they added.
They alleged that after purchasing liquor pouches from wine shops, bootleggers were selling them at higher rates in Jai and some other peripheral areas of the town. Naem said he had no knowledge of this but assured to look into it. "We will certainly take action if anyone was found indulging in bootlegging," he asserted.
He said the department could never allow anyone to sell liquor illegally anywhere. The people, however, doubted his words, alleging that there existed a retailer-official nexus in the town and some other parts of Doda.
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