The Lok sabha polls in Goa have found their traditional nemesis in the liquor trade, with the tightened regulations on records keeping as per the directives of the election commission.
As per directives, the excise department has asked all liquor wholesalers and distributors to furnish their daily sales registers which has angered them and in response they have downed their shutters in a protest all over Goa.
The indefinite shutdown which began on Thursday, 9th April 2009, is expected to last till the end of the elections. The Goa Liquor traders association maintained that the excise officials' demand for daily sales registers was unreasonable at a short notice. The association held a hurriedly convened meeting and decided to shut their outlets indefinitely. They said that they cannot comply with the directives of the Election commission and in order to avoid confrontation with the EC and the excise department the shutdown was necessitated.
Stating that tourism in Goa would be affected with the shutdown the spokesman for the association said that it is not possible to compile so much of data on a daily basis as the trade was not computerised and alleged that excise officials were overzealous during poll campaigning which tantamounts to harassment. The association was willing to co-operate but however wanted more time to comply.
With the Goan wedding season starting from next week added to the state of Goa entering the busy tourist season and with cheap and abundant liquor being one of the unique factors contributing to high sales in Goa, this shutdown is bound to hit the industry very hard if not addressed immediately.