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New excise policy out, liquor dearer

New excise policy out, liquor dearer

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10

Foreign and country liquor is set to be expensive with the government increasing the licence fee and incorporating an additional licence fee on the licensee in the Excise Policy for 2023-24 approved by the Cabinet on Friday.

Cheaper for defence staff

  • To provide liquor at affordable prices to defence personnel, the licence fee has been reduced from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per annum
  • The VAT on liquor meant for defence personnel will be at 1% plus surcharge

Early release of 2 prisoners likely

  • The Cabinet also gave the green signal for sending the cases of two prisoners for seeking premature release of life convicts confined in jails of the state. After the nod of the Cabinet under Article 163 of the Constitution, these special remission/premature release cases will be submitted to the Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution

Nod to Minor Mineral Policy

  • The Cabinet also approved the ‘Punjab State Minor Mineral Policy-2023’ to provide sand and gravel at affordable rates to people. The objective of this policy is to ensure that mining of sand and gravel is undertaken across the state in a transparent and legal manner so that sufficient quantities of sand and gravel is available on demand.

To mop up an additional revenue of around Rs 250 crore, the Excise Department has imposed a monthly non-refundable security on L1 licensee in addition to the licence fee. The policy will help the state collect Rs 9,754 crore. This gives an increase of Rs 1,004 crore over this fiscal year. “The increase in levies will result in an increase in the land cost, raising the selling cost,” said officials privy to the policy.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said to maintain the stability of the trade and continue the reforms, which were initiated last year, the retail sale licence L-2/L-14A were being offered for the renewal to the existing retail licensees. As per the policy, VAT charged on liquor sold by beer bar, hard bar, clubs and microbreweries had been reduced to 13 per cent, plus 10 per cent surcharge.

The transfer of group would be allowed once during the excise year on payment of Rs 10 lakh, subject to conditions. The fee of annual L-50 permit had been reduced from Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,000 and for life time L-50 permit from Rs 20,000 to Rs 10,000. The condition that L-50 life time would be issued to a person, who had been issued annual L-50 permits for three years continuously, had been done away with.

In addition to model shops for the exclusive sale of Indian and foreign liquor, wine, each group in municipal corporation areas had been allowed to open one standalone vend for consumption off the premises. The licensees had been allowed to carry forward their unsold quota of liquor to the next year with the same fee, the spokesperson said.

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