People in Gurgaon will have to pay more for liquor as the new Haryana liquor policy comes into force on Saturday (April 1).
In the new policy, there is an increase of 20% in Value Added Tax (VAT) that will reflect in the bills of consumers.
To take the benefit of existing rates of liquor, a number of residents booked parties for Friday night, the last day of March.
The new liquor price list for different brands is yet to reach pubs and restaurants as the excise department has not released it till now. The pubs and restaurants will start charging 20% more VAT for liquor from Saturday.
Liquor is likely to get costlier after the new rate list of specific brands is released by the department.
“We will not revise the liquor price for the old stock that is already with us. Only VAT charges will be increased for consumers as we (the traders) will have to pay more VAT,” said Anoop Singh, manager of 7 Degrees Brauhaus on Golf Course Road.
The existing VAT on liquor in Haryana is 26%, which as per the new policy has been increased to 34%. This works out to an increase of 20% in VAT on liquor.
“All our tables are booked for Friday night, people are celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries in advance to escape paying the extra VAT,” said Inderjeet Banga, owner Prankster, Sector 29.
Gautam Shah, operations manager, Pitstop BrewPub, Sector 29, said, “Pitstop has stopped taking reservations for tonight. We will be entertaining guests on a “first come first serve basis” for the two tables left. People are trying to make the most of the old prices.”
Party life in Gurgaon will be hit the most as people will prefer visiting Delhi for cheaper liquor, said Ashwini Singh, a businessman.
No stock clearance sale in Gurgaon this year
Liquor lovers had a hectic day on Friday hopping from one liquor vend to another in search of cheaper deals on all brands. Every year, shops in Gurgaon do a stock clearance sale before the new excise policy comes to effect. Most of the liquor vends were out of stock this year as they had not taken sufficient stock due to the Supreme Court ban on liquor sale within 500 metres of state and national highways. The traders said they did not stock up due to the prevailing confusion.
Ish Singh, senior executive of an MNC, said, “I could not find any liquor at the vends on Friday, most of the shops were out of stock. A discount of Rs 20 was available only on beer ”.