Now, residents seeking a liquor licence for marriage functions will not need to frequent the offices of the UT Excise and Taxation department. The Chandigarh administration has decided to begin the facility for online liquor permit for functions as part of its new excise policy for 2022-23.
At present, residents have to visit the offices of the excise department to apply for a permit for serving liquor at functions at their places, like weddings. Once submitted, the application is processed manually, thereby often leading to corruption to get the entire process fast-tracked.
With the introduction of a new online policy, however, the UT administration aims to end all corrupt practices as well as make the process quicker for all applicants.
At present, to get a liquor licence for a wedding function, a resident needs to show the booking slip of the venue along with other documents at one counter. They are then redirected to a separate counter for the payment of fees. Now with the online facility, the permit will be granted after all relevant documents are uploaded and the fees are paid online.
Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner, Vinay Pratap Singh, said that they have
already begun the soft launch.of the online system for licences. “We have already started with a soft launch to test the system before a formal roll out is done,” the Deputy Commissioner said.
Officials are also working to include a facility of procuring bar licences online, which might be included in the excise policy.
The new policy also includes the e-tendering system for allotment of licencing units too which is there in the current policy as well
The present excise policy is already aimed at allotment of licensing units through a complete e-tendering system for more transparency and complete online system for issuance of permit/passes to facilitate trade and industry.
The number of liquor vends this year had been increased from 94 to 96. To curb the menace of cartelization and monopolistic practices, a single entity of firms/companies/individuals were entitled to allotment of upto a maximum of 10 vends only.
A discussion on the number of vends in the new excise policy of 2022-23 is still being done, an official said.
In order to boost the hospitality industry and tourism in Chandigarh, this year there was no increase in the licence fee of the hotels/ bars/ restaurants. The UT Administration had also allowed the facility of mini bars in 3 stars and 4 star hotels, besides the 5 stars.
Focus on beverages with low alcoholic content
The administration will make a provision to promote low alcoholic content drinks. Almost in every excise policy, the administration has aimed to promote beverages with low alcoholic contents. In its 2021-22 policy too, a new category
of beer i.e. super mild beer, with upto 3.5 per cent v/v alcoholic content had been introduced.
To promote low alcoholic contents beverages i.e. beer, wine and particularly to boost the Indian Wine Industry, the license fee and excise duty had not been increased this year. This may continue in the new excise policy, officials said.
This year excise duty on country liquor had also not been increased. However, excise levies on IMFL had been increased by approximately 6 per cent.
BASIC QUOTA MAY BE INCREASED
The excise department may also increase the basic quota of IMFL in the excise policy for 2022-23. In the excise policy for 2021-22, the basic quota of IMFL had been increased from 100 lakhs PL to 110 lakhs PL, basic quota of country liquor is increased from 8 lakhs PL to 12 lakhs PL and the quota of foreign liquor (bio-brand whiskey) had been increased from 3.30 lakhs PL to 3.50 lakhs PL.