The Telangana state government has notified the liquor policy for the next two years. CS Somesh Kumar on Saturday released GO MS No.98 with provisions for allocation of wine (A4) shops for the years 2021– 23. According to the orders, the policy will be applicable from December 1 this year to November 30, 2023.
These provisions were made with minor changes to the notification given for the last two years. The
tender application fee for liquor shops has been fixed at Rs 2 lakh as in the past, while the excise fee has been kept on the old slab. However, the new liquor policy has been released with decisions like an increase in fee payment installments, reduction in the amount required to show bank guarantee and increase in margin for retailers on turnover.
The allocation rules for A4 shops are as follows.
- The application fee for participating in liquor shop tenders has been fixed at Rs 2 lakh as in the previous policy. This fee will be credited to the government if the shop is included in the tender.
- Excise fees are also determined based on population as slabs in the old policy. There will be no change in fees. Previously this fee had to be paid four times a year. Now that deferral number has been increased to six.
- A bank guarantee of 25 per cent of the fee is sufficient. No need to pay the deposit (EMD) as in the past.
- In the past, the margin was 6.4 percent if it exceeded the quota quoted by the licensed shop. Now that quota has been increased 10 times to 27 percent. Some liquor brands will be given a 20 percent margin and traders will be given a 10 percent margin even after a 10-fold turnover.
- As per the decision of the government, 15 percent of the total shop will be reserved for Gowda, 10 percent for SC, and 5 percent for ST. The shops allotted to the respective communities are allocated as a unit of districts comparing the population of the community in that district with the population of that community in the state. It is also determined by the District Collectors in a draw manner
- District Collectors will draw a lucky draw from the applications received for liquor stores and select the winners.
- The retail shop excise tax (shop fee) was determined based on the previous slabs. However, the slab applicable to shops within GHMC will be extended to shops within five kilometres of GHMC and the slab applicable to other corporations will be extended to shops within five kilometres. The slab applicable to municipalities will be applied to shops within 2 km of the respective municipalities.
- An additional Rs 5 lakh per annum has to be paid for the permit room.
- Shops in GHMC and surrounding areas can hold sales from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and shops in other areasfrom 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Liquor should only be sold at the price on the bottle ‘label’. Three CCTV cameras should be installed in each shop.
- The excise commissioner is bound by the powers to re-call tenders or set up outlets for the shops allotted through the application process.
Meanwhile, the excise officials are debating whether to notify additional new shops in the state. A total of 2,216 (A4) wine shops are currently licensed in the state. The number of these shops has not increased since the establishment of the state. The proposal to increase the number of shops came to the fore in the wake of the government’s decision to implement reservations this time. An exercise is underway to identify high-selling areas and increase the number of shops there.
However, no final decision has been made on whether to notify 220 shops or old shops without actually raising them.
An official of the Excise Department said that if the wine shops were increased, the bars would be
further damaged financially in the wake of the debate that bars in the state were already running at a loss. However, the number of shops was not mentioned in the notification issued by the government on Saturday. This number will be clarified at the time of the release of the application schedule. The schedule for this will also be released soon.
According to credible information, applications will be accepted from the 9th to 18th of this month and draws will be conducted on the 20th and provisional licenses will be issued on the same day. The new shops will come into effect from December 1.