Millennium Post

Now, UP malls to sell liquors

The UP government plans to sell liquor in malls and shopping arcades of the state as Akhilesh government has decided to increase price of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) by almost 15 per cent from next fiscal.

The decision was approved by the state cabinet which also allows government to launch a country liquor of lesser strength (25 % v/v). This country liquor would be available in pouches.

The state has also approved around 20 per cent hike in excise duty generation to Rs 12,084 crore during the financial year 2013-14. In the current financial year, the state was eyeing excise revenue of Rs 10,070 crore against Rs 8,139 crore during the financial year 2011-12.

The new excise policy of Akhilesh government is borrowed from previous Mayawati government as officials say there was compulsion for the state government to retain old policy as there is hardly any time left for the implementation of a new policy.

The consolidated annual liquor business in UP, spanning foreign and country made liquor, is estimated at Rs 14,000 crore. Barring some districts, such as Lucknow, Allahabad and Varanasi, which are helmed by the Deep group, the Ponty Chadha group ruled the roost in other regions.

There is rampant trade of illicit liquor and smuggling in UP, that robs the state of excise revenue by 20 per cent annually. This is also being plugged by the state.

There are around 17,000 retail liquor shops in UP, of which 40 per cent were controlled by the group led by late Ponty Chadha, which also exclusively took the delivery of liquor from 54 odd distilleries in the state for retailing.
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