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Excise department issues first ‘home bar’ licence in Ghaziabad district

The Uttar Pradesh government in its excise policy for fiscal 2021-22 had introduced a provision for setting up a personal bar.

The excise department issued a home bar licence to a resident of Muradnagar in Ghaziabad, the first such licence to be issued in the district, said officials in the know of the matter on Friday.

Excise officials said the Uttar Pradesh government, in its excise policy of 2021-22, introduced a provision for a personal bar, allowing people to keep more than two bottles of liquor at home.

Officials said the first home bar licence has been issued as per the excise policy guidelines of 2021-22 but declined to share details of the licensee. Under the new guidelines, the licensee will be able to keep maximum 84 (750ml) bottles of different types at home.

“The maximum limit has been set at 84 bottles. This includes a maximum of 10 whisky bottles (six Indian made and four bottles of foreign liquor). Likewise, the maximum limit for beer is 12 bottles/cans, which includes six Indian and six foreign made. People can keep a variety of liquor at home but have to ensure they don’t cross the permissible limit,” said district excise officer R K Singh.

Officials said the licensee obtained the license after paying 11,000 as an annual fee and a security deposit of 25,000.

“Previously, one could keep only two bottles of liquor at home. The new home bar licence allows one to keep as many as 84 bottles. The new licensing provision is specifically for those, who like to keep more stock of liquor at home. Certain conditions have to be fulfilled before such a licence is issued,” added Singh.

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According to the new guidelines in the excise policy, a person applying for a home bar licence should be filing income tax returns for at least the past five years and minimum three IT returns should have been filed under the 20% tax slab.

Talking about the issue of few takers for the home bar licence in the district, some excise officials are of the view that many people do not prefer to drink at home.

“It is due to societal pressure that many people abstain from consuming liquor at home, especially when family members and parents are around. People generally prefer to have drinks in bars or other places. This is why the turnout for home bar licence is very low,” said an officer from the excise department.

“Only one has been issued in the last one year. The Covid-19 pandemic raged for close to two years. Now that the infection is somewhat under control and situation is going back to what it was before the pandemic, we are expecting more people will come forward for the home bar licence,” said the officer.

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

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