Millennium Post

In new excise policy, Himachal targets Rs 1,840 crore revenue

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh government on Monday gave its nod to new excise policy for the year 2020-21 targetting revenue collections to the tune of Rs 1840 cr, which is Rs 215 cr higher than current financial year's excise revenue.

There will be at least a 13 pe rcent increase in the net collections, which puts the state government in advantage as compared to 2017-18 when the state suffered a drop in the collections, apart from a Rs 150 cr scam in the formation of HP Beverages Corporation.

At a cabinet meeting, held here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the government decided to grant renewal of the Retail Excise Vends (REVs). There are three main objectives.

"To ensure an adequate enhancement of the government revenue, reduction in the price of liquor and to curb its smuggling from the neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana, beside Chandigarh, Uttrakhand and UP," said a senior excise department official.

One of the major highlights of the policy, said a liquor trader, is to break down the monopoly of big players and allow the locals to stay in the trade giving sufficient employment opportunities to those already working in the trade.

"There are rumours about big players and mafia trying to manipulate the things but the government did the right thing in extending the same policy," he said.

The new Excise Policy also allows 30 per cent of the Country Liquor quota for the liquor manufacturers/ bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees. The balance 70 per cent quota can be lifted by the retail licensees from the suppliers of their choice.

The new policy also envisages taking FDR/Bank Guarantee from the retail licensees as security in lieu of security in the shape of property in order to secure the revenue of the government.

"From the next financial year, all the imported liquor in the State will be supplied by public custom bonded warehouse located in the state" the government informed in a release after the cabinet.

Keeping in view the interests of the hotel industry, the government also decided to extend operational timings of the bars in all star-related hotels and bars in specified important tourist areas from 12 noon to 2 am past midnight.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for HP Toll Policy. Under this policy, the option has been made for renewal of their lease after paying the renewal fee of one percent for the year 2020-21 and an increase of 10 percent over the bid amount for the year 2019-20.

Due to this new Toll Policy the revenue to be collected during the year 2020-21 will be Rs. 106 crore, which will be Rs. 9.5 crore more than the toll revenue estimated for the year 2019-20, giving an overall increase of about 10 percent.

The cabinet approved the capacity expansion of Distillery from 45 KL per day to 85 KL per day in favour of M/s Premier Alcobev Private Ltd., Sansarpur Terrace in Kangra district. The State would earn an additional excise revenue of Rs. 18 to 20 crore per annum.

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