Punjab hikes liquor prices

February 22nd, 2011 - 10:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (IANS) Liquor — both country liquor and Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) — will cost substantially more in Punjab under the new excise policy for 2011-2012 announced by the state government Tuesday.Financial Commissioner for taxation S.S. Brar said the licence fee on country liquor and IMFL has been increased by Rs.10 per bottle.

The Haryana government had Monday hiked liquor prices marginally, increasing the excise duty on country liquor was by Re.1 and that of IMFL and beer by Rs.2.

The Punjab cabinet, which met here under Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, approved the hike in excise duty and licence fee to get a targeted increase of Rs.728 crore in revenue over the current year (2010-11).

Excise revenue will touch Rs.3,190.49 crore by end of March 2012, giving an increase of 30 percent over the current year’s revenue of Rs.2461.78 crore, a state government spokesman said here Tuesday.

The targeted increase in revenue (Rs.728 crore) is even much higher than the “historic increase” of over Rs.500 crore announced by the state government in its excise policy for 2010-2011.

The liquor quota for the coming year has been increased nearly by 10 percent over the current year, he added.

For the year 2011-12, the total quota will be 1,290 lakh proof litres, out of which 884 lakh proof litres will be of country liquor and 406 lakh proof litres of IMFL. This amounts to approx 60 lakh case of IMFL and 1.77 crore cases of country liquor,” the spokesman added.

Badal told reporters that the cabinet has decided to continue with the existing system of allotment of liquor vends through draw of lots.

He said that to boost sports activities in the state, Rs.25 crore will be given to the sports department out the application money received for allotment of vends for creation and strengthening of sports infrastructure in the state.

Badal said that to curb the smuggling of liquor into the state, the cabinet has decided to introduce security labels from April 1 this year.

“All liquor bottles of country liquor and IMFL to be sold in Punjab during the year 2011-12 shall be affixed with the intaglio printed security labels with holograms,” he said.

The government has also proposed to impose stricter penalties on retailers if they sell liquor below the minimum retail price (MRP) prescribed by the department.

“If any licencee sells the liquor below the MRP, for the first time, his licensing unit/zone/group will be closed for one week. If he repeats this for the second time, his licence will be cancelled for one month and for the third time, his business will be closed for the entire period of 2011-12,” the spokesman added.

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