Your drink to cost more from June 1 | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Your drink to cost more from June 1

Liquor prices in the city are set to increase between `50 and `500 a bottle depending on the brand, beginning June 1, with the administration announcing an increase in the excise duty and reserve price in the excise policy for 2014-15. Now, India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) will be available at prices almost similar to those in Punjab.

chandigarh Updated: May 12, 2014 22:26 IST
HT Correspondent

Liquor prices in the city are set to increase between `50 and `500 a bottle depending on the brand, beginning June 1, with the administration announcing an increase in the excise duty and reserve price in the excise policy for 2014-15. Now, India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) will be available at prices almost similar to those in Punjab.

The excise duty on IMFL, draught beer, imported liquor and wine, has been increased between 10-25.5% on different categories.

There is some relief, though, for consumers of bottled beer and cheap IMFL as excise duty on these has been reduced by 50% and 17%, respectively, while the excise duty on country liquor remains unchanged.

Other excise levies on liquor have been increased from 33% to 50% and the assessment fee levied on liquor vends has been reduced by 33%. Export fee on IMFL has been introduced.

Liquor quota slashed

Bowing to the demand of the liquor traders, the administration has reduced the liquor quota to be lifted by the vendors. The overall quota of country liquor has been reduced from 27 lakh proof litres (17,000 cases) to 10.82 lakh proof litres (PL) (around 7,000 cases) and for IMFL, it has been reduced from 200 lakh PL to 83.23 lakh PL. Vendors usually have to pay a fine for unsold liquor.

The quota will be distributed proportionately amongst vends keeping in view their licence fee.

The administration has also decreased the number of retail sale vends from 217 to 173 vends. These will be granted a licence by inviting sealed tenders for 10 months.

To curb monopoly, a waiting list of tender applicants will be prepared. In case a successful bidder surrenders his vend after offering a higher bid amount, his earnest money will be forfeited.

New licence introduced

To put a check on the illegal service of liquor in private functions, a new licence in form L-5D has been introduced to register marriage halls/banquet halls/community centres etc on licence fee of `30,000. The licence fee for other type of licencees has been increased by 11% to 16%. The licence fee for departmental stores has also been increased to `10 lakh.

Reserve price enhanced

The UT has announced an increase in the reserve price for liquor vends to be put up for auction.

Delay in policy cost admn `5 crore

The delay of over one-month in formulating new excise policy for the year 2014-15 has cost the administration dear as it has incurred a loss of around `5 crore after 26 liquor vendors refused to extend their contracts.

Quote

We hope to generate around `115 crore as revenue from the policy. More clarity will result after the vends are auctioned. The decision to increase prices will help check liquor smuggling.
Sarvjit Singh, finance secretary, UT