Chandigarh, December 4, 2023: In an effort to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach to the formulation of the UT Excise Policy for the fiscal year 2024-25, the excise and taxation department recently convened a stakeholder meeting. The objective was to gather valuable insights from various industry representatives, including retailers, bonded warehouse licensees, and owners of hotels/bars and their associations.

While the majority of stakeholders actively participated in the discussions, some liquor contractors expressed concerns and chose not to attend the meeting. Their spokesperson highlighted challenges faced by the industry over the past two years, citing losses attributed to perceived policy issues and an inability to compete with neighboring jurisdictions.

The excise department, recognizing the importance of feedback-based policy-making, facilitated a dialogue that included representatives from major industry players such as Ab InBev, International Spirits and Wine Association of India, and the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Confederation. Key suggestions emerging from the meeting encompassed aspects such as ex-distillery prices, label approvals, warehouse operating hours, and beer taxes.

Excise and Taxation Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh underscored the government’s commitment to inclusive decision-making, acknowledging the significance of considering diverse perspectives. The department has extended an invitation for further suggestions via email at epolicychd2024.25@gmail.com, encouraging active participation in shaping an effective and balanced excise policy.

Promotion

In addition to industry-related proposals, advocate Ajay Jagga submitted suggestions emphasizing the enforcement of VAT invoices for liquor sales. He recommended fines for non-compliance and advocated for comprehensive CCTV coverage in liquor establishments to enhance law and order and prevent the sale of alcohol to minors.

The government remains open to dialogue and is scheduled to host another consultative meeting on Tuesday, inviting stakeholders to share their perspectives on refining the proposed excise policy. This collaborative approach aims to strike a balance between the interests of all parties involved, fostering a conducive environment for the growth and sustainability of the liquor industry in Chandigarh.