The Punjab government Saturday decided to raise quota for liquor by up to 10 per cent and set up an additional battalion of police to check rampant smuggling of alcohol from neighbouring states.
However, liquor prices are unlikely to go up in the state.
In the new the excise policy for 2019-20, which was approved by the Punjab cabinet here on Saturday, the state is eyeing to collect Rs 6,201 crore during next fiscal as against anticipated mobilisation of Rs 5,462 crore for the 2018-19, officials said here.
The government has also decided to impose 13 per cent VAT and 10 per cent surcharge on sale of liquor in bars in the state, which will generate revenue of Rs 20 crore, official further said.
Bottling fee of Rs one per bulk litre will be levied on all the liquor bottles to raise about Rs 30 crore, which will be spent on alcohol de-addiction in the state.
Under the new excise policy, the five-star and other higher category hotels have been given permission to run liquor bars round the clock and decision has also been taken to open bars at the airports.
Taking into account the consumption pattern during the year 2018-19, the quota of PML (country liquor) has been increased by 10 per cent from 5.78 crore proof litres to 6.36 crore litres.
Similarly, the quota of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) has been raied by six per cent from 2.48 crore proof liters to 2.62 crore proof litre and of Beer from 2.57 crore bulk litres to 3 crore bulk litres, which is about 16 per cent increase.
The move of raising liquor quota is the departure from the last year's policy, wherein liquor quota was slashed in the range of 20 to 33 per cent.
"With the rise in liquor quota, the prices are unlikely to go up," said a senior official of Punjab Excise and Taxation department.
The rates of excise duty on retail for PML, IMFL and Beer have been retained at last year level.
Excise incidence on all kinds of liquor has been suitably fixed so as to secure government revenue and also keeping in view that the market prices do not rise, the official said.
With the state witnessing revenue leakage of about Rs 500-700 crore because of smuggling of liquor from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, the government has decided to set up an additional battalion of force comprising one IG/DIG of police with SP rank officers at divisional level to check the illegal practice. "Currently, the department has 500 police personnel," the official added.
As per the new policy, the number of groups will remain the same at 700 whereas the group size would increase only to the extent of anticipated increase in the revenue.
This will ensure participation of small licensees, and the number of liquor vends will also remain almost the same as during the Excise Policy 2019-20.
Till last year, the ex-distillery issue price (EDP) of country liquor was fixed by the government. For the year 2019-20, the concept of MRP linked EDP has been introduced. "With this, market forces will come into play and the distilleries will be able to fix their own rates of their brands," an official spokesperson said.
The licensees have been allowed to carry forward their unsold quota of liquor of 2018-19 to next year with a nominal fee.
If any licensee during the financial year 2019-20 gives 12 per cent excess revenue over the fixed minimum guaranteed revenue for his group or zone shall be eligible for renewal in the financial year 2020-21, the official said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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