12 pc hike in district excise revenue
REGISTERING AN increase of 12.09 per cent in its earnings, the District Excise Department has earned a revenue of Rs 136.50 crore in 2005-06 from licence renewal of liquor outlets and disposal of country liquor and foreign liquor shops through tender process. This is against Rs 120.92 crore raked in during 2004-05.india Updated: Apr 01, 2006 23:39 IST
REGISTERING AN increase of 12.09 per cent in its earnings, the District Excise Department has earned a revenue of Rs 136.50 crore in 2005-06 from licence renewal of liquor outlets and disposal of country liquor and foreign liquor shops through tender process. This is against Rs 120.92 crore raked in during 2004-05.
Though the Department is satisfied over 12 percent hike in revenue, it is way behind the given target of 20 per cent. The State Excise Policy 2005-06 had made a provision that the licensees who paid the dues regularly and face no serious allegations could get their licence for liquor shops renewed for 2006-07 on paying 20 per cent more than the reserve price fixed for the previous year.
As a result, out of 143 country liquor shops and foreign liquor shops in the district, contractors for 78 retail shops combined in 36 shop groups opted for the renewal of licence this February at the hiked reserve price. The reserve price is the sum total of basic licence fee and annual licence fee.
The remaining 65 shops spread in 40 groups were disposed of through tenders. The tenders had to be called four times from February to March this year for disposal of the remaining outlets. Here too, the disposal procedure was same that is the contract could be allotted on reserve price that had been increased to 20 per cent.
However, not all shops quoted the revised reserve price. About 30 per cent bidders quoted less than reserved price. Finally, the openings were granted to highest bidder.
State Government, most feel, had been unreasonable to revise the reserve price by 20 per cent in single stroke. This is for the first time that government has escalated the reserved price by such a wide margin. The annual revenue targets in past 10 years were increased by five to 10 per cent.
Experts predict loss for contractors who opted for licence renewal this year. “Liquor sales have plummeted and it will be difficult to recover the basic cost. These licensees will not go for renewal next year,” a liquor contractor remarked.
Assistant Excise Commissioner Naval Singh Jamod is, however, hopeful that liquor sales would pick up this year following a bountiful monsoon and there would be no trouble licensing out the shops.
“We are hoping for the best,” he remarked. Whatever be the future, the excise policy has put the State exchequer on safe side. The Department has not much to lose. Not only does it review the sales trend of each contractor every fortnight, the policy has empowered the State Excise to confiscate the quarterly advance payments made by the licensee and re-tender the shop if he fails to submit the dues.
But the State excise policy may undergo a change next year, looking at the lukewarm response. This is because Indore district, which a year back would top the State’s excise revenue chart, is finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace with government guidelines. Indore, sources said, was one of the few districts along with Shajapur that couldn’t find eager takers this year.