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Country liquor, premium IMFL to cost more in Haryana, beer to be cheaper

February 21, 2020 05:25 AM


Country liquor, premium IMFL to cost more in Haryana, beer to be cheaper
Hitender Rao

CHANDIGARH : The BJP-JJP government in Haryana is expected to experience a fall in the excise revenue following the unveiling of the liquor policy for the upcoming financial year on Thursday. The policy was approved by the council of ministers.

Though deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, who holds the excise and taxation portfolio, said the new policy would bring an estimated revenue of Rs 7500 and above, an increase of about Rs 700-800 crore as compared to the current fiscal, his lofty claims seemed flimsy in the wake of reduction of liquor quota of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), a likely reduction in the number of vends to be put up for actual bidding, reduction in the excise duty for beer and no increase in the excise duty for the regular, economy and cheap category of IMFL.

218 urban sub-vends to be closed

Also, since the government has decided to shut down 218 liquor sub-vends in the urban areas and there are indications that a sizeable number of liquor vends (roughly 700) out of the 872 resolutions received from the gram sabhas will be shut down, the move will adversely affect the bidding amount for liquor vends. In fact, the provision for allowing sub-vends in the urban area has been discontinued altogether.

Though Dushyant said the total number of liquor vends in the state has been increased from the existing 2,500 to 2600, the number will come down after a final decision is taken on the number of vends to be closed down in rural areas.

A saving grace in its bid to mop up better excise revenue has been the increase in the excise duty on country liquor (50 degree proof) from Rs 49 proof litre (PL) to Rs 60 per PL and from Rs 54 per PL to Rs 66 per PL for metro liquor (65 degree proof). However, the imminent decrease in the number of vends in rural areas will bring down the liquor quota for country liquor and even out the revenue gains.

The excise duty on the premium liquor brands which as per excise department estimates account for about 5% to 7% consumption, has also been increased.

The state government has made an effort to promote low-alcohol drinks by reducing the duty on various categories of beer.

The duty on beer with an alcoholic content between 3.5% and 5.5% has been reduced from Rs 50 per bulk litre (BL) to Rs 40 per BL. The duty on beer having more than 5.5% alcoholic content has been reduced from Rs 55 per BL to Rs 45 per BL.

A new category of super mild beer having alcoholic content of up to 3.5% has also been created and the excise duty for this super mild beer has been fixed at Rs 35 per BL.

Bars can remain open till 3am in Gurugram, Faridabad, P’kula

Facing competition from bars in the national capital, Haryana’s excise policy for the upcoming financial year has allowed bars can remain open till 3 am in Gurugram, Faridabad and Panchkula districts.

Deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala said the extended time limit for liquor sale in Gurugram, Faridabad and Panchkula bars has been set at 1 am. This can be further extended by another two hours on payment of an additional licence fee of Rs 10 lakh per hour.

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