The new excise policy comes into effect on Friday, making your favourite liquor bottles 10-15% costlier. The Delhi government’s new policy is aimed primarily at mopping up more revenue from the Capital’s thirst for alcohol and it expected make the government coffers richer by Rs300 crore. The policy also ups the licence fee for hotels by 10% and the “brand fee” for manufacturers by 50%, from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh.
Drafted long ago, the policy was notified by Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna recently. With a relaxed excise regime, Delhi’s liquor counters have always been one of the cheapest in the country. But the government has been aggressively taxing this commodity in the past few years, especially as a means to increase earnings for Commonwealth Games-related projects. But progressively increased price tags have not dampened sales.
In June, for instance, the government’s tax earnings from sale of liquor has been Rs. 525 crore, Rs. 57 crore more than what it had earned in June 2010. “Usually Delhi’s excise revenue figures are in the region of Rs. 2,000 crore. This year we plan to meet a target of Rs. 2,300 crore,” said an official.