Chandigarh: Liquor is set to get costlier by over 20 per cent in Punjab from April, with the SAD-BJP government raising licence fee in the new excise policy 2013-14 in a bid to mobilize Rs 4,020 crore of revenue.
Beer prices are expected to cross Rs 100 per bottle as Punjab Excise and Taxation department has doubled the cess fee on beer, an official of the Punjab excise and taxation department said.
The Punjab Cabinet in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday approved the new excise policy for 2013-14 in which it is targeting revenue of Rs 4,020, up by Rs 610 crore against revenue for 2012-13.
Punjab Excise and Taxation department has proposed a hike of Rs 4 per litre in licence fee from Rs 196 to Rs 200 per litre on liquor.
In addition to it, the extra licence fee now would be levied on advalorem basis whereby the retail prices of higher brands would go up by 20-22 per cent while price of lower brands would increase by 10 per cent, the official said.
In case of beer, the Punjab government has raised the fee from Rs 25 per bulk litre to Rs 50 per bulk litre which will raise revenue from beer by Rs 100 crore to state exchequer, the official said.
"We have tried to collect revenue from the margin of liquor traders as they were found to be charging higher rates for beer in current fiscal."
The policy has also provided funds of Rs 83 crore for the education sector, Rs 60 crore for development of sports, Rs 18 crore for preservation and maintenance of heritage monuments and Rs 10 crore for social security fund, the official added.
The Cabinet has decided to continue with the existing system of allotment of liquor vends through draw of lots.
To curb illegal sale and smuggling of liquor, the state cabinet gave nod to the amendment to Section 61 of the Punjab Excise Act whereby if any vehicle was detected carrying more than 10 cases of liquor illegally, it would be confiscated and auctioned.
Despite liquor traders demanding cut in liquor quota, the Punjab government has raised the quota in liquor by 5 per cent in Punjab Medium Liquor (PML) and 2 per cent in Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). Now the quota for PML and IMFL stands at 920 lakh proof litres (PL) and 440 lakh PL.


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