Irregularities in BevCo outlets across Kerala; ‘Jawan’ sold for commission
Alappuzha: Many financial irregularities in the Beverages Corporation has been found out in an inspection conducted by the Vigilance Department. It has been found that corruption and irresponsibility prevails in the corporation outlets in many districts. The corporation earns an income of about Rs 1500 crore annually.
A state wide inspection was conducted in the outlets on April 29. Huge amount of money without any documentation was detected in many outlets. The vigilance evaluated that the corporation functions without any centralised computer system or structure.
No commission, no sales
Jawan branded liquor, which is sold from government distilleries for a lower rate, is rarely available in the corporation outlets. The employees inform that only expensive liquor brands are available.
The most sought after brands are kept hidden and are later sold based on commission. The commission is shared among the staff from sweepers to high level employees, the vigilance found out.
Maintenance cost higher than billing machine price
The billing machines in beverages outlets costs Rs 16,000-Rs 17,000 each. It requires servicing at least once a month and Rs 5000-RS 6000 is spent for this. About Rs 60,000 is spent for the maintenance of a single machine in a year.
The corporation has a total of 270 shops. Two or three machines are used in many shops. Huge amount of money is spent for the servicing of these machines. With the sales of foreign-made foreign liquor (FMFL) increasing, more machines were purchased.
180 new machines were purchased claiming that FMFL cannot be added in the machine which marks only beer, wine and premium in the bill. It is learnt that huge irregularities were found in its transaction also.
Swiping machines remain useless
The corporation has 180 premium counters and all of them have swiping machines for online payment. However, these are rarely used as the payment is received in cash at many places. The vigilance also found out that the bills were being printed after sale was completed in the evening, which leads to irregularities.
Delay in PSC appointment
Rishiraj Singh, the chairman of Beverages Corporation, said that though more than 400 vacancies in helper posts exist, PSC appointments are delayed indefinitely. Due to the shortage of staff, sales and labelling works also are affected.
The installation of CCTV cameras in the outlets is progressing. Once this is complete, the irregularities can be resolved, he added.