M A I N   N E W S

Haryana slashes excise duty
Does away with auctioning of liquor vends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Haryana’s new excise policy, announced by the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, here today not only dispensed with the system of auctioning the vends but also slashed the excise duty drastically in an obvious attempt to check smuggling of liquor from outside the state. The policy was earlier approved by the Cabinet.

The vends will now be allotted through draw of lots. Mr Hooda said ‘‘the strategic shift is aimed at bringing more transparency, moving towards elimination of monopolistic tendencies that tend to distort the market and thereby affect revenue’’.

The lots for allotment of licensed outlets would be drawn in each district in the presence of the respective Deputy Commissioners, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioners (Excise) and other senior officers of the districts.

The duty on country liquor and IMFL would be reduced from Rs 13 per proof litre and Rs 43 per proof litre, respectively, to Rs 5 and Rs 25 per proof litre, respectively. The duty includes Re 1 as excise duty and the remaining as the permit fee.

The quota for the next financial year has been fixed as 715 lakh proof litres, 495 lakh proof litres for country liquor and 220 lakh proof litres for Indian Made Foreign Spirit (IMFS). The quota for 2005-06 was 650 lakh proof litres, 450 lakh proof litres of country liquor and 200 lakh proof litres for IMFS.

Mr Hooda said to discourage smuggling of liquor from the adjoining states, it had been decided to allow 50 per cent of additional quota of a licensed retail outlet without payment of additional licence fee. The additional quota of more than 50 per cent but up to 75 per cent has been allowed on payment of additional licence fee. The additional quota of more than 50 per cent but up to 75 per cent has been allowed on payment of additional licence fee of Rs 10 per proof litre.

There would be eight categories of licensed outlets of country liquor and seven categories of licensed outlets of IMFL. The rates of licensed outlets will vary from Rs 1 crore to Rs.8.5 lakh in case of country liquor and Rs 1 crore to Rs. 10 lakh in case of IMFL

There would be 2800 country liquor vends and 1600 IMFL vends. These two kinds of outlet will not be allowed to be operated from under one roof. The policy of opening of sub vends will be discontinued. The wholesale outlets of IMFL(L-1) will be open to public on application. To prevent rowdy and drunken behaviour in public, it has been decided that only one ahata will be allowed per vend in urban areas only.

The Government has also lifted the control over molasses at a controlled rate. The distilleries will have to make their own arrangements for molasses and rectified spirit.

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