Pay more for liquor in Haryana

Chandigarh: Liquor prices in Haryana are expected to shoot up with the hike in VAT, excise duty and licence fee under the new state excise policy for the next fiscal which was announced here today.

Around 500 liquor shops will be shifted, following the Supreme Court's order that no liquor shops will be permitted within 500 metres of national and state highways, Haryana Excise and Taxation Minister Captain Abhimanyu said here.

However, bars and pubs will continue to function as the apex court directions do not apply to them, he said.

Announcing the new excise policy, the minister said, excise duty on country-made liquor (CL) and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) has been rationalised and certain new categories have also been introduced.

He said under the new policy, the annual license fee of bars has been increased from Rs 12.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh in Gurugram, Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh in Faridabad and Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 9 lakh in other districts.

VAT rates on liquor have been revised from existing 10 per cent plus surcharge at the rate of five per cent to 13 per cent plus surcharge in case of CL, 13.5 per cent plus surcharge in case of beer and 14 per cent plus surcharge in case of IMFL.

With rise in VAT rates, license fee and excise duty, it is expected that liquor prices are estimated to increase by up to 20 per cent.

The minister said the new excise policy retains the same quota and number of retail outlets for CL and IMFL as are in the current financial year.

He said the department has accepted the resolutions of 185 panchayats for closure of liquor vends. Hence, no liquor vends will be opened those areas.

The minister said there can be a maximum of 3,500 retail outlets of CL and IMFL in the state for the 2017-18 fiscal.

The quota of Country Liquor and IMFL has been retained at 950 lakh Proof Litre (PL) and 550 lakh Proof Litre respectively, he said.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved the policy, which ensures ease of doing business and aims at increasing the revenue of the state, Abhimanyu said.

In the financial year 2017-18 allotment of liquor vends will be made on the basis of zones, he said.

Each zones will comprise six retail vends. The allottees will have the freedom to locate the vends within the zone subject to legal provisions and directions of the apex court.

The licensee shall also have the flexibility to either sell CL or IMFL or both at any of his vends within the zone.

Further, to plug the menace of bootlegging, two sub-vends per zone have been permitted in urban areas on a fixed fee of Rs 10 lakh per sub-vend, the minister said.

Bars and pubs will continue to function as the Supreme Court directive that no liquor shops will be permitted within 500 metres of National and State Highways, do not apply to those following the advice of the Attorney General of India and Haryana Advocate General, he said. .