To make maximum money out of liquor business, the Haryana government has reintroduced a scheme with an aim to “popularise low alcohol beverages in the state.” Now, entrepreneurs can set up pubs serving only wine and beer without much policy hassles.
There were no takers for the scheme though the government had introduced the same in the last fiscal.
However, the government hopes that after having taken many wine-promotion initiatives this year, the investors would go for it.
For this, the state government had fixed an annual licence fee of R4 lakh against the fee of R6 lakh for regular bars. The licence was meant only for those interested in setting up pubs in malls in the three cities of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Panchkula.
The government took the initiative to make wines popular among residents in 2007, during which the government had allowed leading departmental stores operating in malls to allow off-the-counter sale of Indian and imported wines in all categories, including white, red and port wine.
Stores with an annual sale of more than R50 lakh were allowed to acquire new L-10B licence for retail sale of wines on its counters against a meagre annual fee of R25,000 only.
Recently, the state government also announced concession for local wineries as well.
The departmental stores that opted for wine counters included SRS Value Bazzar at Omaxe Mall, RPG's Spencer Hyper Store in Mega City Mall, Vishal Mega Mart etc. Besides, many others sought licences with these outlets in other malls.
An excise and taxation department official said Gurgaon had a high number of corporates of both national and international repute.
“As the state government has decided to promote wine consumption and has introduced concession for wineries, the licence for pubs has been reintroduced for 2012-13.
The state government is hopeful that the hospitality industry would opt for the pubs category or drinking places where low-alcohol beverages such as wine and beer will be served,” he added.
Manbeer Chaudhary, president of Hotels & Restaurants Association of Haryana, said, “The government is optimistic that the industry would go in for pubs this year.”