Liquor contractors seeks 40-50% cut in revenue from sale
If the government accepts this plea, the income of the state excise department will come down drastically to between Rs 3,100 crore and 3,700 croreUpdated: May 24, 2020 01:30 IST
Liquor contractors in Punjab are seeking a cut of between 40 and 50% in annual quota of Rs 6,200 crore revenue from sale in the current fiscal. Contractors had aired this demand before a group of ministers (GoMs) that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh formed ten days ago to look into contractors’ complaints. Contractors have claimed major business losses due to the lockdown imposed to check the spread of covid-19.
If the government accepts this plea, the income of the state excise department will come down drastically to between Rs 3,100 crore and 3,700 crore.
“Contractors claim that due to closure of ahatas, hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces and movement of a substantial number of migrant labour out of the state, liquor sale has been adversely hit. They have pegged tentative loss at 40-50%. We have asked the excise and taxation department to check this, and prepare a report. We will then given a final report to the CM for final action,” said cabinet minister Vijay Inder Singla, who is part of the GoM that also has ministers Manpreet Singh Badal and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria.
Sarkaria and Singla are meeting contractors form all seven excise divisions, while Manpreet couldn’t join because of his father’s death. He is expected to join next week and the three ministers are expected to hold a final meeting before making recommendations to the CM.
The targets of revenue from excise were fixed in the excise policy cleared by the state government in January month before the lockdown. Around 70% of 5,800 liquor vends were sold on 12% revenue increase and 7-8% increase in sale.
“We can’t bring in new players and we have to find a solution,” said Singla.
NO LIQUOR ORDERED FROM
With a huge cache of liquor seized on Friday carrying the labels of ‘To be sold in Chhattisgarh’ the state excise and taxation department on Saturday found that Chhatisgarh had placed no such order. The distillery would now be fined. An officer in the excise department revealed that the report which was to be submitted these raids and the stock-checking exercise would now be given to the CM, who heads the excise department, on Monday. The department had raided 15 distilleries on Friday, after series of discussions held with the liquor traders who reportedly asked the GoMs that stocks of distilleries be checked. Excise teams would again visit distilleries to cross-check stock on Sunday.
Raise this demand with the GoM; if the govt accepts this plea, the income of the state excise department will come down drastically to between Rs 3,100 crore and 3,700 crore