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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

UT excise policy 2019-20: Hard liquor to cost more; push towards wine, beer

Meanwhile, drinks with low alcohol content will not pinch the pocket much and are likely to cost less with sellers passing on the benefit to consumers.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 09, 2019 10:53 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Even as excise levies on hard liquor has been increased, it will still remain cheaper than that available in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, said Satpal, president of the local wine merchants’ association.
Even as excise levies on hard liquor has been increased, it will still remain cheaper than that available in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, said Satpal, president of the local wine merchants’ association. (HT)
         

In a bid to promote responsible drinking, the UT administration has increased excise duty on hard liquor while reducing the label registration fee on wine and excise duty on microbreweries.

In the excise policy for 2019-20, announced on Friday, all hotels and restaurants have also been asked to procure alcometers so that Bacchus lovers can take a voluntary test before leaving the premises.

Hard liquor is set to cost more as excise levies on country liquor has been increased by nearly 17% while the hike in levies on Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) is around 20%.

Meanwhile, drinks with low alcohol content will not pinch the pocket much and are likely to cost less with sellers passing on the benefit to consumers.

UT officials said taking into consideration the demand of hoteliers and in an attempt to give a boost to the Indian wine industry, the license fee has not been increased and kept at ₹12,000 for the whole year. However, the label registration fee on wine has been reduced from ₹15,000 per brand to ₹10,000 as per the draft policy.

In addition to this, the excise duty on microbreweries has been reduced from ₹50 per bulk litre to ₹30 per bulk litre. Meanwhile, the license fee of microbrewery, pubs, bars and other restaurants has not been increased from the last year. It stands at ₹2 lakh. A hotelier said the decrease in beer price in terms of branding would be negligible, but the move will definitely help them in serving more varieties of wine and beer.

Even as excise levies on hard liquor has been increased, it will still remain cheaper than that available in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, said Satpal, president of the local wine merchants’ association.

Liquor vends:Admn eyes ₹600 crore

The administration aims to earn ₹600 crore, up from ₹510 crore last year, with the allocation of liquor licences.

The number of licencing units (liquor vends) has been increased from 88 to 98. However, to curb monopoly, a single person or entity will only be entitled to allotment of up to 10 vends.  

Meanwhile, the basic quota of IMFL has been increased from 90 lakh PL (proof litre) to 100 lakh PL whereas basic quota of country liquor of 10 lakh PL has been reduced to 4 lakh PL with 20% conversion into IMFL. In a first, quota of foreign liquor has been fixed at 4 lakh PL with 20% conversion into IMFL to curb smuggling.

To promote sale of liquor through departmental stores, there is no change in the licence fee — ₹20 lakh. However, the quota has been reduced from 5,000 PL to 3,000 PL.

Traders welcome e-tendering

For the first time in Chandigarh, the allotment of liquor vends will be made through e-tendering. Besides ensuring transparency, the system will allow issuance of permits online to facilitate trade and industry.

Welcoming the move, Ankit Gupta, president, Chandigarh Hospitality Association, said it will make life convenient and help save time. “Otherwise one person has to dedicated to excise-related chores,” he said.

As far as ease of doing business is concerned, the security amount at the time of allotment has been relaxed from 25% to 20% and the payment of monthly licence fee has been increased from eight to 10 instalments.

Hindustantimes

 

 

First Published: Mar 09, 2019 10:53 IST

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