The minister said despite a 45% increase in excise collection, the opposition parties were criticising the excise policy. He said the revenue collection of the state had increased due to
weeding out of various mafias.

Responding to the opposition parties’ charge of growing debt in the state, Cheema said almost every state in the country was borrowing.

“Between 2007 and 2012, Rs 28,592 crore was added to the older debt during the Akali regime. During the last five years of Congress rule, Rs 99,505 crore was taken as debt. But
unlike the previous governments, the AAP government is repaying on time. We paid debt of Rs 36,646 crore. We have also given bailout packages to state agencies,” he said.

Substantial jump in excise revenue, crushed liquor mafia.

Punjab Cabinet Friday approved an excise policy for the financial year 2023-24 with a target to collect Rs 9,754 crore in revenue, a jump Rs 1,004 crore collected in the last fiscal year.

In order to maintain stability of liquor trade and to continue reforms initiated last year, the retail sale licenses are being offered for renewal to the existing retail licensees, said the release.

“The policy aims to collect Rs 9,754 crore during the year 2023-24, giving an increase of Rs 1,004 crore,” it said.

As per the policy, the value added tax charged on liquor sold by beer bars, hard bars, clubs and microbreweries has been reduced to 13 per cent, in addition to 10 per cent surcharge.

The finance minister also refuted the opposition’s charge that payments under various central schemes were pending.

Supply from liquor vends in Haryana and Rajasthan abutting Punjab used to cause a loss to the state exchequer, Cheema said adding it has been stopped, Cheema said, adding smuggling of liquor has been ended by the AAP government.

“We crushed the liquor mafia in the state.” On March 7, a delegation of Punjab Congress met Governor Banwarilal Purohit, demanding that a probe be ordered into the state’s excise policy, which the opposition party alleged had glaring similarities with the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy.

“The AAP government also had to bear the burden of the 6th pay commission, dearness allowance instalment and also the judicial pay commission. We also gave Rs 530 crore
for free travel,” he said.

Minister Cheema further said the revenue collection of the state had gone up as the AAP government had managed to root out various mafias patronised during the previous

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