NOIDA: With neighbouring Delhi recently revising its excise policy, allowing retailers to sell liquor at discounts and with ‘buy one, get one’ offer, traders in Noida and Ghaziabad have urged the UP government to formulate a policy to make alcohol prices uniform in NCR cities.
The retailers claim to be suffering huge losses, with many tipplers now preferring to pick up a bottle from Delhi. Excise officials have, however, said that liquor prices are like “fuel rates that vary in different states”.
As per a comparative data shared by the UP Excise department, a 750ml bottle of 100 Pipers Exceptional Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey Is priced Rs 2,200 in UP and Delhi offers the same with buy one get one free for Rs 1970. Similarly, 8 PM Premium Black Superior Whisky (750 ml) is priced Rs 670 in UP and Delhi offers ‘buy one, get one free’ for Rs 510. There are similar discounts on other brand liquor in Delhi.
Pramjit Singh Chandok, a liquor retailer in Noida, said that the change in excise policy in Delhi has been significantly affecting his business. “I own liquor outlets in sectors 1 and 13 and in Nithari village. Earlier each shop used to record daily sales of Rs 1.2 lakh. This figure has now dipped to Rs 80,000. Many customers in Nodia are aware of the price difference in the two cities.” He said that the government should make a policy to make liquor prices uniform in NCR cities.
Shubham Arora, a liquor shop owner in Sector 1, said that his revenue has also significantly decreased. “Earlier we used to sell liquor worth Rs 80,000 per day. Now the sales have come down to Rs 40,000 a day. This is because after a few metres, Delhi’s New Ashok Nagar starts. People go there and buy cheap liquor,” he said.
Mahendra Singh, joint excise commissioner, Meerut zone, said “a uniform excise policy is not feasible in NCR”. “Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have separate excise policies. Some states charge more as excise duty and some charge less. This is similar to fuel prices which differ in different states. There is no such plan, as of now, to go for a uniform policy for liquor in NCR,” he said.
However, he said that police and excise teams have been stationed at the Delhi-UP borders to check “inflow of liquor beyond permitted capacity”. “But checking each and every vehicle entering UP from Delhi is not possible due to the high volume of traffic.”
Gautam Budh Nagar has 530 liquor shops and Ghaziabad has 509. In 2021-22, Gautam Budh Nagar excise department collected Rs 1,346 crore in revenue and Ghaziabad Rs 1,474 crore.
The above news was originally posted on timesofindia.indiatimes.com