Even as Punjab’s excise policy is under the Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner, the state has recorded better revenue collections from excise in the first five months of this fiscal compared to the last fiscal. During April to August 2022, the revenue collection from excise was Rs 3,528 crore against Rs 2389 collected last year in five months.
Sources, however, said that while there is a growth of 47 per cent compared to last year in the first five months, the revenue collections will dip by at least 1 per cent every month for the rest of the year.
“We are expecting a collection of Rs 8,800 crore by the end of this fiscal. Last year, there was collection of Rs 6250 crore. There will certainly be an increase of 30 to 35 per cent in the current fiscal,” said a government functionary.
Finance and excise minister Harpal Cheema said, “We will get minimum enhancement of revenue from excise between Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,600 crore in the first year. We have recorded an increase of 47 per cent in collections in five months compared to last year and this is a record increase. Our new liquor policy is effective as we have broken the back of liquor mafia. And so our revenue is increasing.”
The collections for the month of April were Rs 564 crore (compared to Rs 468 crore last fiscal), in May these were rs 582 crore (Rs 406 crore) (of last year corresponding month in brackets), in June these were Rs 370 crore (533 crore), in July these were Rs 1254 crore (Rs 532 crore), in August these were Rs 758 crore (Rs 450 crore). The increase in revenue could be attributed to raising the license fee of from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 5 crore. Under the new policy, the profit margin of L-1 license holders have been increased from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. The L-1 license holders have to now pay a fee of Rs 5 crore. Earlier it was rs 25 lakh.
Earlier, the retailers had to pay for the transport of liquor from the distillery to the retail shops. Now, the entire expenditure is on the L-1 license holder. Earlier, the consumer had to bear the cost of transport indirectly.
Now, it is not for the consumer to pay for it. This has made the liquor cheaper. This is leading to enhancement in state’s revenue.
Earlier, the discounts from distillery were pocketed by the L-1 license holder. Now, this has to be shared by both the contractor and the retailer affecting the MRP of liquor. As many as 19 companies have been issued L-1 licenses.
These companies are from different parts of the country. The Opposition has hit out at the government stating that the Aam Aadmi Party government had opened the state’s trade to big fish from outside and affecting the contractors in Punjab, a functionary said that this was aimed at creating competition among the traders so that the prices are kept in check.