Liquor consumers across the city are in for a rude shock as the UT administration has finalised its excise policy on liquor, making it dearer by almost 30% to 60% depending on its category. The step is a result of hike in the excise duty by almost 40% and in some cases even by 100%.
The UT administration has matched up its excise and assessment duty with that of Punjab. Also the licence fee for all, including restaurants, has also been hiked by up to 13%. The UT administrator notified the policy on Tuesday.
After mulling the proposal for over three years, the administration has finally decided to bring its liquor prices on par with the neighbouring states. This in turn is expected to put a cap on all illegal transportation of liquor from the city.
The price of liquor in the city will now be less by Rs 10 to Rs 30 as compared to prices in Punjab. Also in some cases it would be same as that in Punjab, where liquor was earlier costlier by Rs 50 to Rs 120 as compared to the city.
Though the excise department has fixed the minimum price of liquor in excise policy, traders can fix their own maximum sale price that can lead to a difference of Rs 30-50 per bottle in the city's inner and outer sectors.
Vends would be allocated through the tender system, which is a huge setback to those interested in taking up the contract in the main sectors. However, the reserve price for a vend this year would be the last year's tender price along with 20% interest and the same can run into crores.
Those seeking a contract in NAC and villages, the reserve price would be calculated at average licence fee of the last year plus 20% on the same. The minimum retail sale rates of the Indian Made Foreign liquor (IMFL) have been enhanced by 40-50% and that of beer by 10 to 13% and the prices at which it will be made available to consumers are bound to rise drastically. The value added tax (VAT) on liquor remains the same at 12.5%.
UT deputy commissioner Brijendra Singh said, "The new excise policy has been approved by the UT administrator and has been notified. We will soon be calling out for tenders. This time we will go in for special holograms on bottles to avoid its smuggling from the city."
Unlike the civilian population, the defence personnel would not have to cough up the extra bucks to purchase liquor as the UT administration has left them out from the new excise policy.