Following the relaxation of the liquor prohibition policy for Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) in Gandhinagar to encourage additional investment, the Prohibition and Excise department is now focusing on streamlining the payment procedure for those who currently hold health (alcohol) permits in the state.
The Ahmedabad Mirror has reported that all applicants, regardless of age, must walk to the prohibition office to obtain a payment slip, after which they must wait in line at the bank. This out-dated procedure will undergo a digital makeover within the next three to five months.
With its current staffing levels at 37%, the department eagerly awaits government approval to hire the remaining 63% of its workforce. The timing is crucial since there is an increase in the number of new health permits and renewals, which puts more strain on the already overworked staff, the tabloid added.
This increase in permit activity isn’t localised; it’s happening in Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Surat.
On the staff shortfall, L M Dindod, Director of Prohibition and Excise (Gujarat), told the daily, “We have already put a requisition for staff to the state government, considering many officials are due for promotion and many need to be recruited; more than 60 % of posts are vacant across the state.”
“By April-June, the applicants will be provided with an online payment facility so that they don’t have to physically visit the office. In the coming budget session, we will be requesting the state government to make the entire process online,” he added.
To achieve this, the department has begun the process of contacting Gujarat Informatics Ltd. (GIL), the state’s nodal agency for IT development, whose mission is to advance IT and quicken Gujarat’s e-governance process.
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