Updated: January 27, 2021 8:12:19 am
In its excise policy for 2021-22, the Uttar Pradesh government has introduced a provision for a personal bar permit for those wanting to keep more than the permitted quantity of liquor at home.
The general limit for keeping liquor at home without a licence remains unchanged in the new policy. The new licensing provision is specifically for those who would like to stock liquor in excess of this limit. Officials involved in formulating the policy said this was in response to complaints of harassment and vendetta against those who had mini bars at home.
What is the new provision? How much would you have to pay for the licence?
Any individual wanting to purchase, transport or keep possession of liquor in excess of the set limit, will require a licence. The fee for this licence is Rs 12,000 per year, and this, along with a security deposit of Rs 51,000, will have to be submitted to the local District Excise Officer.
Why has the government introduced this new provision?
According to officials, there is a similar provision in the excise policies of states like Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. But Uttar Pradesh did not have such a provision and, as a result, anyone wanting to keep liquor above the set limit for personal consumption, technically ended up breaking the law.
“There were demands from industries, businessmen, lawyers etc, who wanted to maintain either a mini bar at home, or to keep a collection of liquor. However, as there is a set limit as per a previous order, in some cases, people made complaints against such people out of vendetta, and there were instances of prosecution as well,” said a senior government officer.
“Moreover, it was being pointed out frequently that such provision was already there in other states,” the officer said.
Uttar Pradesh State Excise Commissioner Sanjay Bhoosreddy said: “Yes, there was a demand for bringing this provision to allow people to keep more than the prescribed limit of liquor at home by taking a licence for the same. Since other states have had such a provision for long, Uttar Pradesh also decided to introduce it.”
Officials pointed out that the licences will also be a source of additional revenue.
What is the existing limit for possession of liquor for personal use, which would still be applicable?
Excise Commissioner Bhoosreddy said that possession of about 4-5 litres of liquor is allowed on average, depending on its strength. This limit had been set long ago in the state, he said.
The Indian Express found that the state’s excise policy of February 2010 laid down the following limits for possession of liquor:
* Countrymade liquor: 1.5 litres depending upon the hardness
* Foreign liquor or Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL): 6 litres (includes whisky, rum, gin, brandy, and vodka)
* Foreign liquor (brought from overseas): 6 litres
* Wine (bottled in India or overseas): 3 litres
* Beer (bottled in India or overseas): 7.8 litres
What kind of revenues is the move likely to bring for the government?
While this is not being talked about much, it is obvious that additional revenue are expected to be generated from licence and security fees.
The state expects to generate an excise revenue of Rs 29,000 crore this year, and officials said they expected to achieve a target of Rs 35,000 next year.
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