With liquor vends along the national and state highways slated to be closed from April 1 as per the directions of the Supreme Court (SC), Kapurthala Department of Excise and Taxation is expected to lose approximately Rs 5 crore revenue in the 2017-18 financial year.
As per the information, excise department is expected to generate Rs 121. 30 crore revenue in 2017-18 through the allotment of 399 liquor vends against Rs 126.25 crore revenue in 2016-17.
The draw of lot for the allotment of the vends will be carried out on March 27 at Phulkari palace here.
Following the apex court’s order, the department will shut down over 30 liquor vends in the new financial year, which are located on state and national highways.
According to sources, not only revenue but the department has seen a reduction in the number of applications for bidding of liquor vends as well. Till Saturday, the excise department had received only ten applications and collected Rs 5.50 lakh as fees.
In last financial year, the department had collected Rs 6.50 crore as application fees from 2,300 applicant.
Meanwhile, the department has also cut annual liquor quota for licensing units after considering complaints of vendors in past auctions. Assistant excise and taxation commissioner Paramjit Singh said, “Closure of liquor shops along the national and state highway will result in revenue loss.
Moreover, this time, the government has decided to cut down limit of annual liquor quota to 14% on Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and 20% on Punjab medium liquor (PML), which will obviously affect the revenue.”
He added that closure of vendors on the highway has affected interest of the bidders.
“However, this time we have only nine categories of bidders, which were 25 in 2016-17. This could also be a reason behind low number of applications.”
The decision to close liquor vends along the highway was taken by the state government in February after SC banned all liquor shops within 500 metre alongside national and state highways across the country, in a move aiming to reduce drunken driving and road mishap incidents that claim thousands of lives every year.