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West Bengal State Beverages Corporation Limited

INTRODUCTION

The Government of West Bengal has undertaken progressive policy reforms to strengthen State Finances. In line with the reforms process adopted by the State, in the Alcoholic Beverages Industry, a State owned corporation has been set up for managing the business aspect of the supply chain management of liquor in West Bengal. This has resulted in taking over the entire wholesale business of liquor in the State from private owned and operated trades to government owned and operated distributorship resulting in better control and regulation over the distribution and supply of liquor in a transparent and efficient manner.

Several States in India have already entered in the wholesale liquor trade, establishing Government Monopolistic Corporation for distribution of liquor. West Bengal became one of the newest entrants in this bandwagon of liquor distribution through fully Government Controlled liquor wholesale distribution network with the formation of West Bengal State Beverages Corporation limited.

The West Bengal State Beverages Corporation Ltd. was set up as a wholly owned and controlled Public Sector Company under the Finance Department, Government of West Bengal and notified vide Finance Department Notification No. 04-EX dated 05.01.2017. It was incorporated under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India on 25.01.2017 with a working capital of 20 Crores.

POLICY: PURPOSE AND APPROACH

The West Bengal State Beverages Corporation was created primarily with the following objectives: -

  • To act as an intermediary between liquor suppliers and retailers in West Bengal and thereby establishing a better control over the liquor distribution network all over the state.
  • Managing of distribution of packaged liquor in the state by acting as a wholesale distributor of liquor.
  • Procurement of bottled liquor from all liquor manufacturers in the State and from suppliers situated outside the State and selling the same to all liquor retailers in the State.
  • Procurement of overseas liquor from brand owners / Suppliers through Customs Stations and distribution to retail outlets.
  • Acting as an intermediator for export of packaged foreign liquor to other States from manufacturing units situated within West Bengal.
  • Regulating the trade of liquor in West Bengal to tackle the rising menace of spurious/illicit/non-duty paid liquor.

Technically and legally, the corporation operates independently and is a separate entity from the Excise Directorate, with distinct objectives.

The Excise Directorate is responsible for framing and enforcing policies and rules for the production, distribution and sale of liquor in the state, and for collecting state taxes derivable from such production, distribution and sale.

The corporation on the other hand is a corporate entity tasked with running the wholesale business in liquor in the state. It strives to earn enough cash to sustain itself, and enough surplus to expand its business and to pay dividends to the government.

However, given the fact that liquor is a restricted substance whose business is highly regulated by the state government, and given that the Intermediary is a government-controlled entity, there are very close linkages between, and even some overlapping of functions of, the Excise Directorate and The Intermediary.

Some of the linkages are borne out from the following:

  • Who can manufacture and / or sell liquor in West Bengal, is determined and controlled by the Excise Directorate by a system of licensing. Therefore, the entities in West Bengal that the Corporation procures bottled liquor from, and sells bottled liquor to, is limited to the universe of entities licensed by the Excise Directorate.
  • The procurement of bottled liquor from suppliers outside the state, requires the authorization of, and is under the control of the Excise Directorate, as also is the export of bottled liquor from the state. Therefore, the corporation’s business-related dealings with liquor suppliers and customers outside West Bengal, is limited to the universe of such suppliers and customers approved or authorized by the Excise Directorate.
  • The brand-names of and labels under which bottled liquor can be manufactured and / or sold in West Bengal, have to be registered with the Excise Directorate. Therefore, the products that the corporation is able to trade in, is limited to the products registered with Excise Directorate.
  • All movement of liquor into, within, and from the state has to be authorized by the Excise Directorate through the issue of import / transport / export passes, Therefore, all movement of liquor incidental to trades executed by the corporation have to be authorized by the issue of the relevant passes or permits issued by the Excise Directorate.
  • Being the regulatory and policy-framing agency for liquor trade in West Bengal, the Excise Directorate is interested in the inventory data maintained by the corporation.
  • Being a Public Sector Undertaking, the corporation has not just legal obligation but also moral obligation to ensure that all trade in liquor in the state is carried out within the regulatory framework established by the Excise Directorate, and there is no leakage in revenue due to the Government on account of Excise Duties and Fees.

TARGETS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Following its incorporation during January, 2017 the Corporation had set a target of taking over the entire wholesale distribution of packaged liquor across the State within a year. The transition of the wholesale business in liquor from private players to the Corporation was not an overnight shift but was done in a phase wise manner. This phased roll out was done in order to ensure that there is no supply disruption on the one hand and no undue losses or hardships to the people associated with the private businesses on the other.

The operations of the Corporation were first rolled out in three North Bengal districts, namely, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Dakshin Dinajpur, during July, 2017, when three foreign liquor depots were made operational in these districts. Thereafter depots were made operational in the rest of the district in West Bengal in a phased manner with the depots at Kolkata being the last to be operationalized during January, 2018. The entire wholesale trade of Country Spirit was taken over during August, 2017 by the Corporation. Today, the Corporation operates 23 standalone Foreign Liquor Depots, 35 Country Spirit Depots and 3 exclusive Beer Depots. Within a year of its incorporation the entire wholesale business of liquor was successfully and smoothly taken over by the Corporation.

All the foreign liquor depots are standalone trades operating from rented private owned premises (except the depot situated at Durgapur, which is situated in Govt. owned Premises) hired on 3 years’ lease from the successful bidders (who quoted the lowest price) through an open tender process. The foreign liquor depots have floor spaces varying from 10000 sq. ft. to 25000 sq. ft. in accordance with the business volume of the depot.

Each Foreign liquor depot has a defined catchment area which in most of the cases includes the area of the District. The retail licensees dealing in foreign liquor have source their supplies of liquor from the earmarked foreign liquor depot within whose catchment area such retailers are located and to which they are tagged.

Leasing of the foreign liquor depots through a process of open tender and site inspections for compliance of conditions before finalization and setting up the required infrastructure for operationalization of the foreign liquor depots was a big challenge. As the depots are mostly situated in areas away from the locality, getting proper internet connectivity, electricity and water connection, proper roads for ingress and egress of loaded vehicles was quite a daunting task. However, the challenges have been met well and all the depots are functioning smoothly at present.

GOVERNANCE

Following decision of the Government of West Bengal during early 2017 to take over the entire wholesale business of packaged liquor in the state from the private sector through the West Bengal State Beverages Corporation Ltd., a company formed under the Finance Department, Government of West Bengal, the entire process flow of this corporation dealing with the liquor market with an annual turnover of around Rs. 15,000 Crores has been automated under the eBevco package. Registered suppliers raise sale offers to the Corporation electronically and supply stocks to the Corporation’s depots against Orders of Supply which too are electronic placed and retailers source their supplies from the Corporation by booking stocks over the eBevco portal which offers them a seamless experience by providing an online shopping cart with integrated payment gateways.

With eBevco system, the West Bengal State Beverages Corporation (WBSBCL) has computerized critical operations and functioning which include supply management, retailer e-payment, invoicing and certain critical functions within depots like warehouse management, finance & accounts among others.

The eBevco system has proved to be successful in analysing and improving the corporation’s revenue through sales and transaction analytical capabilities where the solution components like SCM are integrated with this decision support system. Also the Government is in a position to analyse the available data and come to logical conclusion which helps in increasing the revenue and have better control on the movement of liquor-both legal and illegal. The project has proved to be beneficial to suppliers and retailers, as it has helped them to maintain statutory registers easily, apart from giving them an electronic platform to transact with WBSBCL and the Excise Directorate.

Besides, following features have made eBevco system a unique solution among all available SCM/ERP in government sectors: -

  • Anticipating Purchase Orders From Excise Retailers Before they are Placed - Machine Learning for Supply Chain Planning (ML-SCP) forecasting within inventory, demand & supply and thereby balancing demand & supply based upon intelligent algorithms and machine-to-machine analysis of big data sets
  • Machine Learning for Warehouse Management through overcoming supply flaws (overstocking or under stocking)
  • Creating Supply Chain visibility and gaining supply risk insights through usage of cognitive technology to track and predict supply chain disruptions based on gathering and correlating external data from disparate sources such as newsfeeds, weather forecasts and historical data

Through successful implementation of eBevco system since last 2 years, West Bengal has earned the distinction of becoming the lead state in the country to implement all activities of State Excise Beverage Corporation under an umbrella e-Governance project. It has proved to be a Classic example of cost-effective solution in comprehensive transformation of government processes for empowerment of the Government in line of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).

PUBLICATIONS: LIQUOR SOURCING POLICY

The operations of the Corporation, including registration of Suppliers, Sale Offers, Orders for Supply, indenting by retailers, invoicing, payment to suppliers etc. are guided by the Liquor Sourcing Policy that the Corporation publishes annually. The Liquor Sourcing Policy of the Corporation is publicly available on the website of Excise Directorate and the eBevco portal.

ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE

Chania

Besides the above posts under the control of Managing Director, WBSBCL there are three other posts :-

  • One Company Secretary
  • One Law Officer
  • One System Analyst

CATEGORY OF OFFICERS AND STAFFS DEPLOYED AT THE WBSBCL DEPOTS

Category                         of officers/staffs

 

Nature of Duties

FL

Depot.

CS

Depot.

 

 

Depot. manager

i) Overall supervision and management of depot. ii) Procurement and distribution of liquor in FIFO manner.

iii) Supervision of assets including stationary articles, physical stock, statutory registers etc. iv) Vigil over the

Subordinate staff. v) Active control over the system of receiving and issue of TP and sell invoice.

 

 

23

 

 

33

 

 

Asst.                  Depot. Manager

i) Assisting the depot Manager in overall supervision and management of depot. ii) Supervision of loading and unloading of liquors. iii) Supervision of batch wise distribution of liquor to maintain FIFO. iv) Physical verification of stock at regular interval. v) Assisting the depot manager in system operation towards receiving and issue of TP and sell invoice

 

 

37

 

 

20

Category                         of officers/staffs

 

Nature of Duties

FL

Depot.

CS

Depot.

 

 

 

Data            Entry Operator/Floor Assistant

i) Receiving of stock and proper racking as per batch no, brand and quantity wise. ii) Proper loading as per loading invoice keep in view the FIFO method. iii) Physical verification of stock regularly and assisting Depot Manager/Assistant Depot Manager to verify such. iv) Generation of loading pass, issuance of TP from system for further action at Depot Manager/Assistant Depot Manager end. v) Checking of details of vehicles, their loading and unloading. vi) Reporting the exact breakage numbers to the Depot

Manager.

 

 

 

 

165

 

 

 

 

NIL

 

Security Supervisor

i) Deployment of security guard in proper manner. ii) Overall management of the security guards. iii) To keep constant vigil on the assets of the depot and check the TP of dispatching vehicle and to report any untoward incident to Depot Manager.

 

 

23

 

 

NIL

 

 

Security Guard

i) Guard the physical assets of the depot. ii) Prevent any kind of irregularity and report the same in case of such an occurrence to the DM. iii) Help in proper queuing of loading and unloading vehicles to facilitate the speedy functioning of the system.

 

 

197

 

 

NIL

ACHIEVEMENTS AND SOME RELEVANT DATA REGARDING FUNCTIONING OF THE WBSBCL IN THE YEAR 2018-19

  • The decision of setting up of West Bengal State Beverages Corporation Ltd to take over the wholesale distribution of liquor has become successful due to, -
    • Strategic takeover of the wholesale business in a phased manner throughout the State and to complete the same within one year from the date of incorporation of the said company.
    • In house development of transparent and down to earth ERP modules with the help of NIC
    • Decision of least interference in marketing and pricing of liquor by the manufacturers / brand owners
    • Brining highest level of transparency in the manner of distribution of liquor and financial transactions with the manufacturers
    • Quickness in decision making to safeguard the business interest of the Company which lacks in most of the Government owned companies
    • Regular interactions with the stake holders and open mindedness in accepting their suggestions.
    • vii) There created direct employment for 336 persons and around 1500 indirect employment to manage the daily affair of WBSBCL.
  • The corporation did a business with annual turnover of Rs. 13676.83 crores during F.Y 2018-19. The total income of the WBSBCL during 2018-19 including margins from sale, interest from FDs and registration fees from Suppliers was around 312.50 crores.
  • The net profit of the WBSBCL during the F.Y 2018-19 was around Rs. 81.17 crores.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AS ON 31.03.2019

1. Hari Krishna Dwivedi, I.A.S, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal.
2. Krishna Gupta, I.A.S
3. Smt. Smaraki Mahapatra, I.A.S, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, West Bengal.
4. Randhir Kumar, I.A.S, Excise Commissioner, West Bengal.

BANKER

 ICICI Bank

REGISTERED OFFICE

 ‘SUBHANNA’, 9th Floor, 2nd Avenue, DF Block, Sector-1, Salt Lake City, Kolkata - 700064.

KEY OFFICIALS AND CONTACT DETAILS

Sl.

No.

Name

Designation

Phone No.

Fax No.

E.mail id

1

Sri Hare Krishna Dwivedi,                           IAS,

Additional Chief Secretary to the Govt. of West Bengal

Chairman

033-2214

3695

033-

2214

4016

fs-wb@nic.in

2

Sri Randhir Kumar, IAS,                Excise Commissioner,

West Bengal

Managing Director

033-

23412702

033-

2221

6205

randhir.ias@gov.in

3

Sri Gautam Ghosh

General

033-

033-

igkg65@gmail.com

 

 

Manager           -

23412703

2221

 

 

 

Operation

 

6205

 

4

Sri Kunal Biswas

General

033-

033-

dcit.wb-excise@nic.in

 

 

Manager           -

23412704

2221

 

 

 

System

 

6205

 

5

Sri Hari Pada Purkait

Chief Finance &

033-

 

purkaitharipada@gmail.com

 

 

Accounts

23412705

 

 

 

Officer

 

 

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