Chandigarh: Punjab government may not raise liquor quota in the upcoming new excise policy for 2013-14 following the concerns raised by liquor contractors over the current quota being "surplus", which forced them to sell alcohol at reduced rates in current fiscal.
Besides, Punjab government is also mulling over bringing amendment in Punjab Excise Act to curb the "illegal flow" of liquor from other states, aiming to plug the revenue leakage.
Officials of Punjab Excise and Taxation department are currently in the process of bringing out new excise policy for the next financial year, official sources said in Chandigarh.
"We have got suggestions from liquor contractors who are demanding that liquor quota should not be enhanced for 2013-14 as current quota is already surplus. They have informed us about selling liquor at lower rates because of excess quota. We will consider this demand of contractors before finalising the new excise policy," a senior official of Punjab Excise and Taxation department told reporters.
The present liquor quota for Punjab stands at 8.98 crore proof litres (PL) for Punjab Medium Liquor (PML) and 4.36 crore PL for Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). Punjab government last year raised the liquor quota by 5.5 percent.
Punjab has 5,400 vends for country liquor and 2,500 vends for IMFL. Excise revenue from liquor trade is major source of income for the state because of heavy consumption of alcohol prevalent among Punjabi people. Revenue from excise shot up from Rs 2,100 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 3,400 crore (estimated) in 2012-13. "We have faced a very big problem of surplus liquor quota (during 2012-13) as we had to sell liquor at low rates wherever the quota was excess. As a result of which we faced losses," a Ludhiana-based leading liquor contractor said.