Come April, Bacchus lovers to pay 5% more for liquor in Mohali
With the Punjab government approving its new excise policy for 2020-21, Bacchus lovers in Mohali will have to pay more for liquor.
The policy will lead to nearly 5% hike in the prices of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), with each bottle costing ₹25 to ₹35 dearer. Even, beer bottles and cans will become expensive by ₹8 to ₹10. The new rates will come into effect from April 1.
Liquor contractors say the state government has nominally hiked the excise duty at retail — ₹5 for countrymade, ₹4 for IMFL and ₹2 for beer. However, at wholesale stage, the hike is considerable in the case both IMFL and beer, though there is none for countrymade liquor.
Due to high rates in Mohali, smuggling from Chandigarh has remained an irritant. Last year, the Mohali excise department even alleged that manufacturing and sale of liquor of several brands without holograms was rampant in the UT. The department claimed that distillers in Chandigarh are not only supplying these bottles (without holograms) at local liquor vends but these are also being smuggled to Punjab.
“However, this year, we are expecting the Chandigarh administration to increase liquor rates manifolds, as they are running in huge losses,” Jatinder Singh, general manager of Turtle Group, which owns around 15 liquor vends in Mohali.
The new policy also states that the fixed licence fee of ₹600 crore during 2019-20 is to be increased to ₹625 crore while the additional fixed licence fee of ₹120 crore is also to be increased to ₹385 crore. Instead of any significant increase in the quota of different kinds of liquor, the increase has only been in the additional licence fee because the licensees can lift the quota of liquor as per their choice out of this additional fixed licence fee.
Also, the ex-distillery price (EDP) for fixed quota of countrymade liquor has been fixed at ₹271.11 per case. Now, the retail licensee will be allowed to interchange his quota of countrymade, IMFL and beer up to 15%. The VAT paid on imported liquor is also to be adjusted in additional fixed licence fee and additional 12% revenue requirement for renewal of licences next year. However, as a consolation, the licensee can carry forward unsold quota of 2019-20 to the next year at a nominal transfer fee.