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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

HP Cabinet approves new Excise Policy, announces measures to curb illicit trade

The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday approved a new Excise Policy for the 2022-23 financial year and gave a nod to measures to curb illicit trade.

The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and the policy envisages collection of Rs 2,131 crore revenue which will be Rs 264 crore higher as compared to 2021-22 financial year with an overall growth of 14 percent in state excise revenues.

A state government official said the approval was given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4 percent of the value of unit/vend. The objective is to gain adequate enhancement in government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.

The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as the license fee has been reduced and it will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers and they won’t be tempted towards the purchase of illicit liquor and evasion of duty will also be checked.

In the new excise policy, the 15 percent fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. This step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16 percent of the existing price.

Promotion

In this year’s policy, to provide more funds for the welfare of “Gau Vansh”, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Rs 1 from the existing Rs 1.50 to Rs 2.50.

In view of the reduction in Covid-19 cases in the state, the Covid cess has been reduced by 50 percent of the existing.

Promotion

The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.

To provide better facilities to the tourists visiting tribal areas and also provide relief to the hotel entrepreneurs, the rates of an annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas have been reduced considerably.

In order to monitor the manufacturing, operations of liquor, its dispatch to wholesalers, and subsequent sale to retailers, it has been made mandatory for all the above stakeholders to install CCTV cameras at their establishments.

Keeping in view recent irregularities detected by the department in liquor bottling plants, wholesale vends, and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the HP Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.

An effective end-to-end online Excise Administration System shall be set up in the State which shall include the facility of track and trace of liquor bottles besides other modules for real-time monitoring.

The Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the state. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.

It gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning, and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water, and air) under this Manual.

Promotion

The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.

The above news was originally posted on www.thestatesman.com

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