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Booze, a boon for State Govt

Boozing has become a boon for this State. If things go as planned the State is heading towards becoming the biggest earner of excise duty in the country through sale of liquor.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 01:19 IST
BK Singh
BK Singh
None

Boozing has become a boon for this State. If things go as planned the State is heading towards becoming the biggest earner of excise duty in the country through sale of liquor.

The cause behind this great success lies in departure from earlier practice in which 90 per cent revenue used to come following bidding of shops.
Now the department has started realising excise duty from 10 per cent licence fee while the remaining 90 per cent is directly taken on the stuff manufactured in breweries. This has nullified nearly all chances of evasion of excise duty, said the sources.

Another cause behind the success is a simplified excise policy which has started attracting more and more new comers in this trade, said a senior excise officer. Use of holograms on bottles has served as a shot in the department's arm.
Earlier when bidding for liquor shops was in vogue it attracted Mafiosi and syndicates who cornered the business and made big money. Also, one had to deposit crores of rupees as security money to get shops allotted. This arrangement was beyond the reach of the common man who never even dreamt of having a liquor selling outlet, said the sources.

The department has also taken the initiative of removing the limit on whole sale licence. Earlier, there used to be just one whole sale licencee.

Now more than a dozen different persons in a district have the whole sale licence. Attracted by the excise policy of our State, it were Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh who emulated our policy. Later Punjab and Haryana followed suit this year while Rajasthan adopted our policy last year.

The day is not far when those left will also come forward to emulate it in order to reap the benefit like us, said the official.

By bidding a good-bye to bidders and the syndicate the government has acted wisely as this bold step has increased the revenue manifold, he added.
The department gave Rs 3,000 crore revenue to the state government in the year 2005-2006.

In the current fiscal year this earning is expected to yield an additional Rs 400 crore. Thus increasing the total revenue to Rs 3400 crore.

Andhra Pradesh (AP) till now had been topping the list by fetching the biggest excise revenue. Latest figures suggest that in the last financial year AP earned Rs 3200 crore as excise revenue and Tamil Nadu came a close second, earning about Rs 3100 crore while UP was third in the race fetching Rs 3000 crore.
This has been largely possible through better management techniques and sincere efforts to stop the brewing of illicit liquor, added the official.

With little more effort we can further check illicit brewing of country liquor.
This done the State will have an additional revenue of more than Rs 200 crore which it was losing due to large-scale illicit distillation, he further added.

First Published: Apr 03, 2006 01:19 IST