The J&K Excise Policy 2023-24, has introduced many new progressive initiatives that will upscale revenue, will boost the local liquor industry with more incentives to optimize liquor production and also bring in more enforcements in regulation of Liquor trade and consumption and cultivation of poppy/cannabis, a statement said.
It said: “The Excise Department implements its action/operational plans through annual Excise Policies. Excise Policy is an important policy tool to carefully balance the imperatives of making the liquor available to the people in the manner and at the cost, which is both qualitative and affordable.
The policy carries forward the objectives of encouraging transition from high to low alcoholic content beverages, to bring about greater social consciousness and awareness about the harmful effects of drug abuse and to check bootlegging/smuggling of liquor and narcotic drugs in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir from neighbouring States/Union Territories.”
It said, “All services in the Excise Department including liquor permits, duties, fee etc. shall be provided only through online mode from e-Abgari Portal on real time basis.”
The statement said, “All hurdles will be removed in timely operationalization of JKEL-2 vends by invoking Rule 30(8) of Liquor License and Sale Rules, 1984. Also, to ensure timely opening of JKEL-2 vends, for repeated premises, there shall be no requirement of DMs clearance besides Deemed Clause introduced and renting out Government land for one year for opening vends at places where private premises is not available.”
It said, “Twenty six new JKEL-2 vends (22 in Jammu and 4 in Kashmir)- Total 305 JKEL-2 vends have been proposed for retail sale of liquor in underserved and unserved areas of the UT. Rationalization of License Fee under various categories to link them with sale in cases. Fee has been revised as per category of hotels. Fee/Duties have been slightly changed for IMFL and JK Special Whisky.
Revision in Registration Fee for JKEL-2 vends from Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 50,000/-, EMD from Rs. 7 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh and Reserve bid price increased from Rs. 10 Lakh to Rs. 15 Lakh. All the payments to be made from KYC/PAN linked bank accounts of the bidders.”
The statement said, “Options have been given to bidders to either
Major new initiatives
- 3 new categories of Licenses have been introduced as under:
* JKEL 2A (Retail vend of Beer and RTD in JKTDC/Tourism Establishments/ Tourism Development Authorities /Airports etc.);
* JKEL-6A (Bottling License on leased out Premises) and
- Major Boost to local industry for increasing local production and export of high quality and low alcohol content brands:
- All Bars in J&K have been hugely incentivized by reducing their MRP from 25% to 10% or as per menu, whichever is higher.
- By granting permission to the local Distilleries/Bottling plants for production of RTD with annual fee of Rs. 20,000/-.
- 25 % less Excise Duty on CSD/PMF Brands manufactured in J&K only.
- To protect local industry, restriction shall be imposed on import of brands having MRP Rs 600 per bottle (750 ml).
- To optimize the production of liquor in the existing Distilleries/Bottling Plants, the Department shall grant permission for leasing out production lines to major liquor companies in making local bottling plants economically viable and promoting export from J&K.
- To take advantage of good climatic conditions for maturation of bulk spirits, the Department shall grant permission for Export/Import /Transportation and maturation of bulk spirits.
For the 1st time, a new Country Liquor brand of 45 degree proof introduced that is affordable that will arrest/discourage sale of illicit liquor and to prevent Hooch tragedy.
Promotion in production of quality brands by local liquor industry by blending scotch and malt (not less than 2 %).
Permission to serve liquor on rooftops to the existing high-end Hotels and Restaurants with additional 50% of the annual license fee has been introduced to boost high-end tourism related activity.
Giving options to bidders to either have the possession of immovable property in UT of J&K worth up to 100 percent of the bid value or not less than 50% of the bid value with remainder of bid value (not more than 50%) as Bank Guarantee (BG). This will raise the bid value thus more revenue to the government.”
It said, “ The demand of the tourists for opening of liquor vends at tourist places and places of illicit distillations will be addressed. Liquor vends have been proposed at Tourist Places and places of illicit distillations with NOC from DM and a certificate from FSSAI.”
“In order to discourage conflict of interest or monopolistic practices in liquor trade, all manufacturing units have been proposed to be declared as ineligible for grant of Type A, B, C licenses.”
“The Excise Department is facilitating introduction of more BIO Beer and other Liquor Brands by decreasing the import duty by Rs 5 per BL on beer and reduced the additional assessment duty on BIO brands by 50% over previous Excise Policy. Realising the fact that no new franchise brand introduced for manufacturing in J&K, the franchise duty has been dispensed with to have more introduction/production of franchise brands in J&K.”
It said, “To address the grievance of stakeholders, Quota Transfer fee of Rs 1.00 per bottle has been introduced for transferring of MGQ from one vend to another. Stock Transfer option has also been introduced with Rs. 0.50 per bottle as charges for transfer of stock (if available) to be paid by the outgoing licensee on determination of license. Promotion of digital payments. Steps have been introduced for using POS machines and keeping UPI payment options in the vends.”
“ Vend information signboard have been made compulsory for each JKEL-2 vend. To ensure zero leakages, it has been proposed to install Flow Meters in Bottling Plants/Distilleries/Breweries. Production of JK Special Whisky will be rationalized,” the statement added.
“ To encourage informants giving information about the growing/ cultivation of poppy/cannabis also manufacturing of illicit liquor and bootlegging, a new clause of rewarding the informants has been introduced in the policy. For the 1st time, research activities for devising eco-friendly chemical/biological methods for destruction of wild cannabis have been promoted under Social Responsibility Corpus Fund,” the statement added.