UP Lokayukta summons Excise Minister

The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta has summoned Excise Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui to appear before it on February 19 for allegedly granting licence to sell liquor to a private firm.

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta has
summoned Excise Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui to appear before
it on February 19 for allegedly granting licence to sell
liquor to a private firm.

The Minister has been summoned by Lokayukta Justice
(retired) N K Malhotra yesterday on a complaint filed by
Vinay Mishra, a resident of Allahabad, who had alleged
bungling of multi-crore rupees by the Minister and higher
government officials involved in granting of license for sale
of liquor, officials said today.

Licences were given to Blue Waters, a private company, in
partnership with State Sugar Mills Federation by the Sugar and
Excise Departments, in deviation to the state excise policy,
the Lokayukta found during its inquiry.

In the notice sent to Siddiqui, the Lokayukta has sought
the reason which led to license being given to Blue Waters
when the excise policy was against allowing any private
players in it.

After the BSP government was formed in 2007, the excise
policy was amended, which stressed on giving the license for
sale and distribution of liquor in UP to the state sugar mills
federation.

But the minister issued the license jointly in favour of
private company Blue Waters and State Sugar Mills Federation,
they added.

The complainant has also alleged that at present the
liquor is being sold on more than maximum retail price across
the state.

PTI

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