The Rajasthan government has announced its Excise Policy for the 2024-25 fiscal year, opting to maintain existing excise duty and license fees. However, a key change involves a 10% increase in the guarantee amount required for license renewals. This policy aims to balance revenue generation with affordability for consumers and liquor businesses.
- No Increase in Excise Duty and License Fees: The excise duty on various liquor categories, including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), Foreign Liquor (FL), and country liquor, remains unchanged. Similarly, license fees for retail shops and bars will be the same as last year. This move is intended to offer relief to consumers and businesses already grappling with inflationary pressures.
- Higher Guarantee Amount for Renewals: Licensees renewing their permits will need to pay a 10% higher guarantee amount. This aims to ensure timely renewal procedures and potentially generate additional revenue for the state.
- Focus on Online Processes: The new policy emphasizes the continuation of online processes for license applications, renewals, and other excise-related activities. This promotes transparency and efficiency in the system.
- Promoting Microbreweries: The government intends to encourage the establishment of microbreweries within the state. This could create new economic opportunities and diversify the liquor industry in Rajasthan.
- Combating Illicit Liquor Trade: The policy reiterates the government’s commitment to curbing the sale and consumption of illicit liquor. Stricter enforcement measures and awareness campaigns are planned to address this issue.
- Consumers can expect liquor prices to remain stable in the coming year.
- Existing liquor businesses might face initial financial strain due to the increased guarantee amount but could benefit from streamlined online processes.
- New microbreweries could emerge, potentially creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
- Continued efforts to combat illicit liquor trade could create a safer and more regulated liquor market in Rajasthan.
Some industry experts argued that the increased guarantee amount for renewals could put undue pressure on businesses, especially smaller players. Others suggest the government could have explored alternative revenue sources instead of focusing solely on guarantee amounts.
Overall, the Rajasthan Excise Policy 2024-25 strikes a balance between revenue generation, affordability, and promoting a responsible liquor industry. The success of this policy will depend on effective implementation and its ability to address the concerns raised by industry stakeholders.