Liquor prices to go up in Haryana in May as new excise policy kicks in
- The excise duty on wine and draught beer remains unchanged, but the duty on India made foreign liquor (IMFL) has been increased 20%. The wholesale liquor license fees has been increased 25%.
Liquor prices are set to go up with the Haryana government’s new liquor licensing policy that was announced Thursday and would come into effect from May 10. The new policy will see an increase in wholesale liquor license fees, excise duty, permit fees, import duty and brand label fee, said officials.
The excise duty on wine and draught beer remains unchanged, but the duty on India made foreign liquor (IMFL) has been increased 20%. The wholesale liquor license fees has been increased 25%.
Retail liquor license fee for bars and restaurants remain unchanged at ₹18 lakh. These establishments can also operated until 6 am instead of 3 am with an additional payment of ₹20 lakh.
For imported foreign liquor (IFL) license fees has been increased from ₹1 crore to ₹1.5 crore.
Dr Anirudh Sharma, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) (west), said that they had achieved their collection targets on liquor this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic and registered a growth of 15%. “The new excise policy benefits most licensees. There has been no increase in the liquor license fees for the restaurants, pub and bars as they have already suffered huge losses. We have also removed Covid cess of ₹10 to ₹30 on each bottle,” he said.
VK Beniwal, DETC East, said they too had been able to meet their targets. “There has been no increase in the license fees for all star category hotels. Security deposit and annual fee instalment remains the same,” he said.
Members of National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) welcomed the policy.
“Restaurants serving liquor under bar, pub, microbrewery categories will have three benefits under the 2021-22 policy. Mandatory license to serve imported foreign liquor has been withdrawn, the renewal of license based on minimum stock purchase for preceding year has been waived and the extension in time. This probably is the longest opening hours for a non-hotel outlet in India”, said Rahul Singh, trustee, NRAI.
While the benefits were obvious, Singh said they hoped at a rationalising of the annual license fee of ₹18 lakh, which is one of the highest in the country. “It is not sustainable for restaurants to get liquor license for providing a complete experience to families. It’s skewed towards full fledged bars and pubs,” he said.
Microbreweries were hopeful of allowing their excess production to be offset by selling kegs to other outlets, which is permissible across many states.
Ishan Grover, a consultant brewer, said that in Haryana, microbreweries have received no relief from the government. “All the microbreweries are shut since the restrictions were announced. We are not benefitted in any ways as the operations start post 8 pm and now we cant continue operations after 6 pm. We are hit and it will take years to recover these losses and our cost of operating is too high so until the situation is back to normal we wont be able to run the business,” he said.
The licensee were hoping to see a change in policy for drinking age which is 25 years after Delhi reduced it to 21 years in their new excise policy. The police has not made any changes despite neighbouring national capital announcing the same.