The Uttar Pradesh government’s excise revenue has nearly tripled in the past six years, contributing 42,000 crore to the state’s revenue earnings in 2022-23 against 14,273.33 crore collected under this head in 2016-2017 in the state.

Besides the increase in capacity and the number of distilleries, better enforcement, simplification of rules for issuing bar licences and ease of doing business norms are the main reasons for the increase in excise duty in the state, minister of state (independent charge) for excise Shri. Nitin Agarwal said.

“The excise revenue has nearly tripled in the past six years. Uttar Pradesh had nearly 61 distilleries in 2016-2017. This number has gone up to 98 now. Moreover, 85 new distilleries are coming up. Uttar Pradesh has taken lead in the ethanol production, making 153 crore litres of ethanol. This is the highest in country. There are more microbreweries, premium retail vends and retro bars in UP now. We have also recently issued licenses for setting up of two wineries at Muzaffarnagar and Bareilly,” he said.

Agarwal said excise contributes to 25% of the state’s revenue collected under various heads, including GST (Goods and Services Tax). He said the state government, received 36,321.12 crore crore in 2021-22. The amount increased by nearly 14% in 2022-2023. He said the state government, however, has revised the excise department’s target from 48,000 crore in 2022-2023 to 58,000 crore for 2023-24.

Following directives from chief minister Yogi Adityanath, effective steps have been taken to check illicit liquor in the state, he said.

No incident of consumption of illicit liquor was reported after the February 21, 2022 incident when three deaths took place in Azamgarh, he added.

He said the chief minister provided infrastructure to enable the department to launch enforcement drives and special campaigns to check the menace.

“We have a well-equipped enforcement team at all the divisional headquarters,” Agarwal said.

He said the track and trace system introduced by the department to monitor movement of alcohol has helped in bringing transparency. Alcoholmeters and CCTV cameras have also been installed in all the distilleries, he said.

Replying to a question, he said steps have also been taken to check political patronage to the liquor mafia. He said a Samajwadi Party leader was found involved in the illicit liquor nexus following an inquiry into deaths of 26 persons following consumption of illicit liquor in Azamgarh in 2017. He said criminal case was lodged against those involved and strict action was taken against them.

Agarwal said the state government received over 100 investment proposals of 31,433 crore in the excise sector at the Global Investors Summit-2023. Some of these projects would be implemented at the Groundbreaking Ceremony proposed in September 2023, he said.