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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Delhi: Hic but no hurray, liquor prices go up by 8%

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 18, 2014
First Published: 23:45 IST(18/6/2014) | Last Updated: 23:47 IST(18/6/2014)

Boozing just got costlier in the city.

The prices of liquor, across various segments, went up by 8-12% on Wednesday with the excise department notifying new rates. 

Excise commissioner JB Singh said rates of beer have been increased by Rs. 5 and Rs. 20 per bottle and prices of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) have gone up by Rs. 25 and Rs. 40 per bottle.

HT was the first to report on May 5 that the Delhi government would revise the prices of liquor once the model code of conduct, that was in force for the general elections, was lifted. 

Senior officials said liquor bottles that cost Rs. 250-500 will cost more by 8% while bottles priced at Rs. 500 will cost 5% more.

“We are hoping to increase the revenue collection by Rs. 250 crore through the increase in rates. We have increased the rates by 8% and 12 % across all the segments,” said Singh.

During the last financial year, the excise department was unable to meet its revenue target and had decided to revise not only the rates but the tax structure too.

In 2012-13, the department had collected Rs. 2,869 crore, in 2013-14 they collected Rs. 3,151 crore though the target was Rs. 3,200 crore.

The state government had set a revenue target of Rs. 3,600 crore from excise collections this year. The excise rates are reviewed annually and new rates are approved at the beginning of the new financial year.

However, due to the model code of conduct, the excise duty could not be revised. To increase its revenue further, the excise department had recently said that it was working on a proposal to grant permission for installation of micro-brewery plants in malls, pubs and five-star hotels in the city.

The department has already allowed the sale of beer and wine in departmental stores in the city. Beer sales have witnessed an all-time high due to the rising temperature in the city and the excise officials are hoping to improve their collections.


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