By Vivek Gupta
The UT administration is likely to reduce the per vend liquor quota in its upcoming excise policy. Even in last excise policy, the quota for country liquor was reduced from 27 Lakh proof litres to 10.82 lakh proof litres.
For Indian Made Foreign Liquor, it was reduced from 200 lakh proof litres to 82.83 lakh proof litres. The quota is distributed proportionately amongst the vends, keeping in view their licence fee.
Officials said that even after reduction last year, the liquor quota is still at higher level considering the consumption level of the city residents. “Since liquor vendors are also not in favour of higher liquor quota, it is likely to further go down in new excise policy, said a senior official.
UT finance department on Monday sent to excise policy’s draft to administrator for final approval, which is expected soon.
The move however may increase the excise duty resulting in further escalate of existing liquor prices of premium liquor brands by 10-15%.
The liquor prices in the city especially of IMFL was also increased through 2014-15 excise policy with an intention to bring the prices at par with prices of Punjab.
As prices are set to increase further, the administration is working on further decreasing the quota so that liquor vendors don’t indulge in to black marketing to cover up their losses.
Confirming the same, UT Finance secretary Sarvjit Singh said that the decrease in liquor quota is under consideration but details of the new excise policy will be shared once the policy gets final nod from UT administrator.
Decrease in quota might also result in decrease of number of retail vends both for country liquor and IMFL.
Meanwhile, the administration is also thinking of auctioning the vendors in clusters. Earlier, the administration was proposing of auctioning vends of two-three sectors together. But after pressure from the local industry, the administration might restrict the sale of two-three vends per sector. Till last year, vends were auctioned individually.
The administration is also working to allow micro-brew pubs in the city where resident can get their beer brewed to the specific taste in pubs. The concept of freshly-brewed beer is permitted by Haryana, which might be allowed in city in new excise policy.