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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Punjab Govt eyes 30% jump in excise collections

The AAP government is looking at over 30 per cent increase in excise duty revenue, by implementing a new excise policy from July 1 this year. The policy is also targeted to break the monopoly in both liquor manufacturing and liquor trade.

No draw, may opt for tender

  • Govt may do away with allotment of liquor vends through draw of lots, and instead invite tenders
  • AAP is targeting a revenue of Rs 10K cr from excise. Last fiscal, the then Cong govt had targeted Rs 7K cr
  • Excise duty earned was Rs 6,158.18 cr. As govt took over in March, previous policy was extended till June 30
  • Sources say the government is looking at increasing its excise duty collections to over Rs 10,000 crore this fiscal. For this, the government may do away with the system of allotment of liquor vends through a draw of lots, and instead invite tenders from contractors for allotment of liquor vends.

The policy, which is in the works, was discussed between the CM, Finance Minister Harpal Cheema and senior officers this morning.

Sources privy to the discussions told The Tribune the government was also mulling increasing the size of the groups (licensing units).

In the past few excise policies, announced by the previous governments, the size of the licensing units had been kept small. However, this led to the “unviable” liquor vends not finding any takers and it was difficult to auction these after repeated attempts, and state government found it difficult to meet its excise duty collection targets.

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Sources say by expanding the size of the group, the Excise Department is looking at ensuring the unviable vends too are auctioned with the other profitable vends.

In yet another departure from the excise policies of the previous Congress government, the new government is looking at promoting setting up of new distillery in the state.

The previous government had banned the setting up of new distilleries — which the present government sees as promoting and protecting the business interests of the existing manufacturers.

During the meeting today, the government discussed that allowing new entrants in liquor manufacturing would break the monopoly of the existing manufacturers. It may be noted of the 16 distilleries in the state, eight are connected to political and other influential persons. Sources say in the new policy, which is likely to be announced by the end of this month, the maximum retail price will be fixed. The licencees can sell at rates lower than MRP. This will create competition among various contractors and help keep liquor prices in check.

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

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