Pune: After 40 years, the State government has hiked the rewards given to informers and staffers of the State excise department, which is expected to boost the detection of cases and strengthen the intelligence gathering network. The department is one of the highest contributors to the State’s coffers.
Now, a superintendent can give rewards up to Rs 50,000, while the commissioner of state excise department has been empowered to sanction rewards up to Rs 10 lakh. The principal secretary can approve rewards above Rs 10 lakh. Also, now an officer/staffer can earn up to Rs 25 lakh as reward in his entire career, stated a government resolution issued on Monday.
Officials from the department said that earlier, Rs 2,500 to 3,000 was given per case, out of which Rs 500 was paid to the informer and the rest was spent on various expenditure and within this amount, the staffers also got the reward money. These rates were finalised in 1976 and were not revised all these years.
Due to paltry rewards, officials complained that many informers used to first tip them off and then strike a deal with smugglers or bootleggers to help them avoid being caught.
State excise officials found it difficult to cultivate informers with the meagre reward money to get information regarding bootlegging, duplication and smuggling of duty evaded liquor from other states.
According to the government order, now, an informer will get five per cent of the total value of the seized liquor or material. The value will be decided based on the amount mentioned in the FIR and assessment done by the excise department, whichever is less. Similarly, officers and staffers will also get five per cent after the seizure and the investigating officer and team will get another five per cent after court passes judgement in government’s favour. The reward amount for officers/staffers can be increased up to seven per cent.