Chandigarh: Liquor contractors boycott meeting called for suggestions
Chandigarh excise and taxation department had organised the meeting to consult retailers, bonded warehouse licensees, owners of hotels/bars and their associations for their suggestions
Liquor contractors from Chandigarh, who have been decrying losses due to better perks in neighbouring Punjab, skipped the meeting that was scheduled on Saturday to hold discussions on UT’s Excise Policy for 2024-25.
The UT excise and taxation department had organised the meeting to consult retailers, bonded warehouse licensees, owners of hotels/bars and their associations for their suggestions.
Sachit Jaiswal, legal adviser, Chandigarh Wine Contractors’ Association, said for the last two years, the liquor contractors had been facing huge losses in the UT.
“The contractors are not able to compete with the policy of the neighbouring state. The contractors feel that the administration is not taking any positive steps in improving the Excise Policy, hence they boycotted the meeting,” he said.
“UT has held such meetings previously too, only to ignore suggestions given by the contractors. The administration should work on implementing, and not just hearing, the contractors’ suggestions,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to an official statement, representatives from Ab InBev, International Spirits and Wine Association of India, and Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Confederation were also present at the meeting. They sought to analyse the challenges and formulate a policy after receiving input from numerous parties.
During the interaction, main suggestions included increase in EDP (ex-distillery price), timely label approvals, increasing timings for functioning of warehouses, reducing tax on beer and giving label approvals for a longer period. The discussion also featured best practices from different states in India.
UT excise and taxation commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh appreciated the feedback from these stakeholders and acknowledged the importance of feedback-based policy making. He emphasised the spirit of inclusivity by involving every stakeholder in the process of policy making.
The excise department has requested the stakeholders to submit their suggestions via email at “email@example.com” or submit a hard copy personally during another such consultative meeting scheduled at 12 pm on December 5 at the DC office in Sector 17.