The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday took a decision to give concession in the liquor license fees for the lockdown period and withdraw the 15 per cent increase in license fee for 2020-21 considering the losses caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The state has announced a 50 per cent concession in license fees for FL III (permit room license) and FL IV (club license) where imported and Indian-made foreign liquor is served and 30 per cent discount in license fees in Form E (mild liquor & wine bar license) and Form E2 (wine bar license).
Besides, the cabinet has also decided to withdraw six per cent increase in Tadi license fee for 2020-21 and decided to levy only three months license fee for the period seven months from September 2021 to March 2021.
Officials said that the liquor shops were shut between 38 days to 190 days during the lockdown period and the concessions are being granted considering the damages caused to them by the lockdown. Also, there were requests from various quarters demanding the concession in the license fees on account of closure of the shops in the lockdown period. “The concessions are being made through adjustments and there is no direct payment to the license holders. Those who have already paid their annual license fees will be adjusted in the next renewal of the license of fees,” said an official.
Officials said that the decision to grant concession in license fees will increase the financial burden by Rs 361 crore on the government. The state excise is a major source of revenue for the state. In 2019-20, revenue of Rs 15,429 crore was collected and Rs 909 crore was collected through the excise license renewal fees.
Officials further said that since October 5, only 50 per cent of the seating capacity has been allowed in restaurants and permit rooms in the state, resulting in only 50 per cent of the total business. “The liquor license are directly connected with the hospitality and tourism sector and its business is dependent on the business ecosystem of this sector,” the official added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines