LIQUOR PRICES in Haryana are set to increase from April 1, when the new excise policy comes into force with the government increasing minimum retail prices apart from Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise duty. There will be a total of 3,500 retail outlets for country liquor and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in Haryana, the same as in 2016-17. Also, no liquor vends will be opened in 185 villages for which the panchayats had submitted resolutions as compared to five last year. Haryana Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu, while unveiling the excise policy for the year 2017-18, said that after the decision of the Supreme Court not to allow liquor vends near state highways and national highways, around 500 liquor vends would be shifted. He said the state government hails the decision of the Supreme Court that is aimed at preventing accidents.
As per the new excise policy, the number of vends will remain 3,500 and the quota of CL and IMFL has been retained at 950 lakh proof litre (PL) and 550 lakh PL, respectively. However, this time allotment of liquor vends will be made on basis of zones. In the last excise policy, allotment was made on basis of groups.
The zones will comprise six retail vends. The allottee will be given flexibility to locate the vend within the zone after following all the requisite norms and keeping in view the directions of the Supreme Court. The government has also for the first time given flexibility to the allottee to sell either CL or IMFL or both at any of the vends in a zone.
Further, two sub-vends will be allowed per zone in the urban areas instead of a fixed fee of Rs 10 lakh per
Duty on Country Liquor and IMFL has been rationalised and certain new categories have also been introduced. Rate of Excise Duty on Country Liquor has been increased from Rs 20 per PL to Rs 28 per PL.
Duty on IMFL ranged from Rs 40 to Rs 70 per PL on four categories of IMFL. These rates have been revised in the range of Rs 45 per PL to Rs 200 per PL in seven categories depending upon the Ex Distillery Price. Rates of duty on mild beer has been increased from Rs 25 per BL (bulk litre) to Rs 31 BL , while that of strong beer has been increased from Rs 30 to Rs 36 per BL. The rate of duty on wine has been fixed at Rs 10 per BL whereas it was Rs 3 per BL earlier.
VAT on CL and IMFL, that was flat 10 per cent along with five per cent surcharge, has been increased in different categories. In case of CL, the VAT would now be 13 per cent. On IMFL, it has been increased to 14.5 per cent and on beer it will be 13.5 per cent. On foreign liquor, the VAT has been increased from 25 per cent to 33 per cent.
The annual licence fee of bars has been increased. For Gurgaon, it has been increased from Rs 12.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. For Faridabad it has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh, while in the rest of the state it has been increased from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 9 lakh.
Capt Abhimanyu said, “The bars and restaurants operating along the highway will not be affected by the SC decision. We have sought a clarification on this from the Attorney General of India. With the new policy, the revenue of the department would increase by 12 to 15 percent. We are expecting an additional Rs 500 crore revenue in addition to Rs 4,900 crore that was our target for the year 2016-17.”
He added that for the first time, the government has decided to put to auction by way of inviting bids for Wholesale license of supply of imported foreign liquor (bottled in origin) in the state of Haryana to tap the optimum potential of government revenue. The government is likely to fetch a revenue of above Rs 50 crore.
“The pattern of consumption of liquor in Haryana is changing. The feedback that we have received from the licensees is that the demand for IMFL is increasing. In the NCR, there is a market for foreign liquor. While revenue of Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore was generated in the last two to three years, it was felt that the revenue could be increased,” he said.