Guwahati, May 13 (PTI) Excise, Forest, and Fisheries Minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Thursday directed officials concerned to step-up vigilance in the districts to prevent illicit liquor trade.

Excise Department Principal Secretary A P Joshi and other officials were urged to plug leakages which lead to revenue losses, an official release said.

‘The minister asked them to initiate stringent action against all brands and companies involved in the transportation of illegal liquor without valid papers,’ the statement said.

They were also asked to hasten the process in clearing the backlog of pending files and vital issues of the Excise Department that came to a stop due to the Model Code of Conduct during the Assembly elections.

The minister held a series of meetings with officials of Excise, Environment, and Forest, and Fisheries departments separately and reviewed the status of progress of various ongoing schemes and pending projects.

In the meeting with officials of the Environment and Forest Department, Suklabaidya asked them to expedite the ongoing schemes and pending projects.

‘The minister asked them to submit a report on various afforestation and plantation projects under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC) and to complete the projects within a stipulated timeframe,’ it added.

He also instructed the officials to put in place all possible measures to tackle flood situation following the onset of monsoon in various flood-prone forest areas to minimise the extent of losses to wildlife.

The minister urged the officials to expedite the process of recruitment in the department and inform the status of various pending files related to the amendment of various rules by submitting a comprehensive action taken report within 15 days.

In another meeting with Fisheries Department Director N K Debnath and other officials, Suklabaidya asked them to submit status reports related to various schemes, including PMMSY.

He directed the officials to review the district-wise status of various schemes, besides the current vacancy position through video conferencing.

The minister also asked the officials to act swiftly by working in tandem with the district administration of Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi of Barak Valley to bring to a halt the illegal trade of fish from Bangladesh. PTI TR MM MM

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