Chandigarh: The UT excise and taxation department, which is staring at missing its revenue target, had fallen short in the last four financial years (FY) as well.

In FY 2019-20, it had fallen short by Rs 77.24 crore, whereas the next year (2020-21), the gap between the target and achievement was Rs 173.88 crore. For FY 2021-22, the department had achieved Rs 81.4 crore less than the target.

The revenue gap decreased in 2022-23 and stood at Rs 36.63 crore.

This information was shared by the department with the comptroller and auditor general.

After failing to auction its liquor vends under the current excise policy (2023-2024), the department this time is likely to suffer revenue gap of more than Rs 100 crore in terms of vend licence fees. It has failed to auction even 18 liquor vends.

Officials have consistently blamed the neighbouring state’s liberal excise policy for the revenue gaps.

In Chandigarh, the value-added tax (VAT) stands at 12.5%, while it is 1% plus surcharge of 0.10% in Punjab. Similarly, there is a high difference in excise duties with Punjab offering much lower excise duty. Under the UT excise policy, the remaining quota of the unsold shops has been transferred to the sold liquor vends. In view of all these scenarios, most of the liquor contractors didn’t participate in the tender process of 2023-24.

The city, which generally fares better than the neighbouring states in terms of liquor sales and attracting contractors, has started to see major drop in sales from mid-last financial year after Punjab came up with its new excise policy for liquor vends.
Source :TOI