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Haryana nod to new excise policy: Bars, clubs can now seek liquor license to promote tourism, adventure sport

The Haryana government Friday approved the Excise Policy for 2022-23 paving way for clubs and bars located anywhere in the state to apply for and secure the bar license. Morni area, which was earlier barred, has also been included in the list of places where bar licenses can be granted to promote tourism and adventure sport.

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The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

The new policy will kick in from July 12 this year. A senior government official said that while the “import duty on wine and intent fee for establishing wine manufactory has been slashed, there is no increase in excise duty for most IMFL brands in the new policy”.

The excise revenue collection in 2021-22 fiscal was Rs 7938.8 crore, a 17 per cent increase over Rs 6791.98 crore in 2020-21 fiscal.

As per the new policy, the liquor vends shall be auctioned through e-tender of retail zones (comprising of maximum four retail shops). “For ease of doing business, the powers to approve brands and labels having no change from the previous year are delegated to the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner (DETC),” an official spokesperson said.

“The permission of operation in additional shifts to manufactures would be granted on annual basis as against the current quarterly basis. Besides this, the power to renew licence and grant additional points in existing bars has been delegated to the DETCs. Also, the approval of new labels and brands will be done online. To encourage responsible drinking, low alcoholic beverages will be promoted,” the spokesperson added.

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Besides, high security holograms with track and trace system shall be implemented. Flow meters will be installed in all distilleries and bottling plants. The monitoring of liquor manufacturing facilities will be done through CCTV cameras. For better control over the inter-state movement of liquor, transit slips shall be introduced and point of sale (POS) machines shall be installed in all liquor vends and bars.

Import Duty on wine slashed

In the new policy, the import duty on wine has been slashed from Rs 7 to Rs 2 per BL. The letter of intent fee for establishing wine manufactory has been slashed from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 lakh. There would be no increase in the bar licence fee.

Bars, retail vends can operate for longer hours

Bars and retail vends can now have the flexibility to operate longer after payment of additional fee. The basic quota of country liquor and IMFL shall be 1,100 lakh proof litre and 650 lakh proof litre respectively, which is around four per cent higher than last year. Besides, there would be no fixed quota of country liquor allotted to distilleries so the licences will have full freedom to choose brands of any distillery. There would be a marginal increase in the fee for wholesale licences of country liquor and IMFL.

Prices unchanged for most brands

In the new policy, there is no change in the minimum retail sale price of most brands of country liquor and IMFL except metro liquor where there is a marginal increase. The sale of IMFL brands of Ex Distillery Issue Price (EDP) lesser than Rs 1050 per case shall not be allowed, as against the current Rs 950, to ensure that quality improves. The licence fee for wholesale of distillers, non-distillers and breweries has been rationalized so that the wholesalers of brands having lesser sale volume will get their licence at a reduced fee. Also, there will be no increase in excise duty of most IMFL brands. Rather IMFL brands above Rs 5000 per case shall attract slightly lesser excise duty in order to ward off the challenge from a neighbouring state.

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Excise duty on whiskey and wine cut

“In order to ward off any possibility of in-flow of imported foreign liquor (bottled in origin) from one of the neighbouring states, Excise Duty on whiskey and wine is being reduced from Rs 225 per PL/BL to Rs 75 per PL/BL. Similarly, the assessment fee for supplies to bars has also been reduced,” the spokesperson said.

VAT on Imported Foreign Liquor slashed

The VAT on Imported Foreign Liquor has been slashed from 10 per cent to 3 per cent and reduced from 13-14 per cent to 12 per cent in case of country liquor, wine, beer and IMFL, etc.

Rentals fixed at 6% per annum

Rentals for land of government agencies in urban areas are fixed at 6 per cent per annum of the Collector Rate in case the size is less than 500 meters.

The above news was originally posted on indianexpress.com

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