Punjab okays excise policy for next fiscal, plans to mop up over Rs 7,000 cr

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Chandigarh, Feb 1 (PTI) The Punjab Cabinet on Monday approved the state excise policy for 2021-22 with a projected target to mop up Rs 7,002 crore as against the current year's expected revenue of Rs 5,794 crore, showing an increase of 20 per cent, an official said here.

The excise policy has been largely focused on providing relief to retail licensees and to keep buoyancy in liquor trade, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement here.

The policy aimed at the renewal of the existing vends, subject to lifting of additional liquor by the licensees, ensuring a minimum growth 12 per cent in revenue during 2020-21, he said.

The revenue of the current year is expected to be Rs 5,794 crore as against Rs 5,027 crore of 2019-20, showing an increase of 15 per cent, he said.

The spokesperson said the Excise Department during 2020-21 is slated to garner around Rs 300 crore over and above the budgeted target of Rs 5,578 crore.

'If successful, the government would be able to jump from Rs 5,073 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 7,002 crore in 2021-22, an increase of whopping 40 per cent in two years,' he said.

The Excise Department proposes to collect the additional revenue by increasing the quota (minimum quantity to be sold by a licensee) of Punjab medium liquor by 12 per cent, Indian-made foreign liquor ( IMFL) by 6 per cent and beer by four per cent over last year, respectively.

The department has proposed to impose a quota for foreign liquor in municipal corporation areas and 'A' class municipalities, he said.

The excise policy has been formulated specially to give relief to those sections of society which are affected negatively due to COVID-19, he said.

The annual fixed licence fee for bars in hotels and restaurants has been slashed by around 30 per cent, he said, adding that the annual licence fee for marriage palaces has also been reduced by 20 per cent.

The government has not increased the incidence of taxes on country liquor thereby maintaining the last year liquor prices for the consumers, he said, adding that there will be no increase in the sale price of liquor.

The state government has also decided to place a moratorium on setting up of new distilleries, breweries or bottling plants, he said.

It decided no new letter of intent (LoIs) will be issued for establishing manufacturing units in the current year. The government has also made it mandatory for the LoIs issued for setting up of a bottling plant to complete their project by March 31, 2023, the spokesperson said. PTI VSD CHS RDK RDK