Bars in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Panchkula will soon remain open till 1 am under Haryana’s new excise policy, which also makes beer and wine cheaper and reduces licence fees for hotels and restaurants serving liquor. Country made liquor, however, would be costlier in the state.
Bars in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Panchkula can stay open till 3 am, if the licence holders pay one time additional fee of Rs 10 lakh per hour.
The bars in these cities at present remain open till midnight. The bar timings have been extended in view of the timings in Delhi, where bars stay open till 1 am. The new rules will come into force on April 1.
Soon after the state Cabinet’s approval, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, who also holds the excise and taxation portfolio, released the excise policy for the year 2020-21.
Chautala pegged the revenue from excise duty at over Rs 7,500 crore in 2020-21 against the expected revenue of Rs 6,600-6,700 crore for the current financial year.
The Deputy Chief Minister informed that duties on various categories of low alcoholic drink beer have been reduced. The duty on beer with an alcoholic content between 3.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent has been reduced from Rs 50 per bulk litre (BL) to Rs 40 per bulk litre. The duty of BL containing alcoholic content more than 5.5 per cent has been reduced from Rs 55 per BL to Rs 45 per BL. A new category of super mild beer has been created with alcoholic content up to 3.5 per cent. The duty of super mild beer has been fixed at Rs 35 per BL.
The government said that the “assessment fee” on imported foreign liquor bottled at origin (whisky) has been reduced from Rs 250 per proof litre to Rs 200 per proof litre. The assessment fee on beer has been reduced from Rs 100 per BL to Rs 70 per BL. Similarly, the assessment fee on wine has been reduced from Rs 250 per BL to Rs 200 per BL.
But country-made liquor will cost more. According to an official, there would be increase in the rates of country made liquor by Rs 3 per bottle following increase in the excise duty. The duty on Country Liquor 500 has been increased from Rs 44 per proof litre to Rs 60 per proof litre. The duty on Country Liquor 650 has been increased from Rs 54 per proof litre to Rs 66 per proof litre. However, Principal Secretary of Haryana Excise and Taxation Department, Anurag Rastogi claimed that there will be little impact on the consumers as “the trade will absorb this increase because the excise duty on liquor is lower in Haryana than of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh”.
Meanwhile, the provision for allowing sub-vends in urban areas has been discontinued. There were over 200 sub-vends in the urban areas in the state. The total number of liquor vends in the state have been increased from 2500 to 2600.
Chautala informed that the temporary one-day licence for serving of liquor in functions or parties in form L-12A will be made available online.
The fee structure has further been rationalised. Now, the commercial establishments hosting functions and parties will have to mandatorily get themselves registered with the Excise and Taxation Department. The licence fee of L-12A in commercial places has been fixed at Rs 7500. Further, the temporary licence for a person serving liquor at their private places has been enhanced from Rs 500 to Rs 1000.
He shared that the quota of IMFL in the state has been reduced whereas no change has been made in the quota of country liquor.
As per the new Excise Policy, the allotment of liquor vends for the year 2020-2021 will be carried out in the units of zones. The number of vends per zone have been reduced from six vends to two vends. “It will facilitate new entrepreneurs with modest means to participate in the bidding process and would make the process more competitive. The practice of allotment by way of e-tenders will continue,” Chautala said.
He added that in order to further streamline the trade and as a step to ensure the quality of liquor to the consumers, it has been decided that retail licensees will issue an invoice of sales.
The Deputy Chief Minister shared that levies on supplies of liquor to defense personnel have been kept at par with the state of Punjab with an exception of rum. The duty on rum has been fixed at Rs 99 per proof litre against Rs 140 per proof litre in the case of Punjab.
He informed that the licence fee structure of bars has been rationalised. The licence fee of L-4 & L-5 in five-star hotels has been reduced from Rs 45 lakh to Rs 25 lakh per annum. Similarly, the licence fee of the bar in four-star hotels has been reduced from Rs 38 lakh to Rs 22.5 lakh. The licence fee of bars in three-star hotels has been reduced from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 15 lakh in the state except for Gurgaon and Faridabad. He shared that in Gurgaon this fee would be Rs 20 lakh and in Faridabad, it would be Rs 17 Lakh. The licence fees of bars in restaurants (non-star rated) have been reduced from Rs 12 lakh to Rs 10 lakh in all districts except Gurgaon and Faridabad.
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