To safeguard its revenue interests in case of closure of pubs on account of brawls or government action, the state Excise and Taxation Department has asked the pubs applying for licences to deposit Rs 2 lakh extra, (over and above the licence expenses), as security deposit. The new order came into effect from Sunday.
To operate a pub, one will have to pay an annual licence fee of Rs 6 lakh. This should be paid in four quarterly instalments. For a pub that is serving liquor two hours extra beyond the midnight deadline, the owner will have to pay Rs 11 lakh.
But now, all pubs will have to pay security fee of Rs 2 lakh in advance at the time of applying.
Gurgaon has a total of 208 joints serving liquor. The department is in the process of renewing the licences of all pubs.
The department officials cited two reasons for implementing the new decision.
First, the government mulls over stricter measures, including closure, if incidents of brawls are reported from a pub. In such a scenario, many pubs may lose licence even before their licence period is over.
This would mean the excise department would not get the full licence amount. Also, many pubs may close down owing poor business or other reasons. So, the department wants to reduce its perceived “loss”.
“The new ruling became effective from April 1. The department won’t have to bear losses in case pubs are closed following any dispute,” said Anil Kadiyan, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC). As of now, we are charging the quarterly fees.
The excise department is planning to even hike the security deposit.
“Though the security deposit is R2 lakh this time, I have proposed that the amount be increased to Rs 4 lakh from next year,” added Kadiyan.