Beer, country liquor to become costlier in Haryana

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Chandigarh, Feb 19 (UNI) Beer and country liquor will become costlier in Haryana under the state's excise policy for the year 2008-09.

The excise policy was approved by the State Cabinet at its meeting presided by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda here.

Under the policy, the minimum retail sale price of beer has been revised from Rs 30 to Rs 35.

The minimum retail sale price of country liquor has been revised to Rs 60 for a quarter, Rs 35 for pint and Rs 20 for nip from existing rate of Rs 55, Rs 30 and Rs 15 respectively.

The policy allows imported liquor through canteen stores department to facilitate defence personnel. However, an assessment fee of Rs 200 per bottle shall be levied.

With a view to prevent smuggling and adulteration, a hologram will be affixed on country liquor bottles. For maintaining quality, 25 per cent of the free quota of country liquor will be allowed.

It has been decided to abolish permit fee of rupee one per bulk litre on ethanol thus benefitting the consumers to the tune of Rs four to five crore.

The number of vends has been reduced from 4000 to 3800. Wine will be allowed to be sold in departmental stores located in shopping malls. Imported foreign liquor will include whisky, beer, vodka, gin and rum which will be allowed alongwith wine in such Departmental Stores.

The license fee of bars in four star and above category has been revised to Rs 10 lakh. Bar timings would be extended by two hours on payment of additional fee of Rs five lakh and round-the-clock operation of bars would be allowed on additional payment of Rs 10 lakh.

A life time license for possession of liquor in excess of possession limit has been introduced on payment of Rs 2000. The total No. of IMFL bottles of various liquor has gone up from 72 to 108.

The 'Ahatas' will be renamed and the department will issue detailed instructions for maintaining the high standard of hygiene and public health in the 'Ahatas'.

Certain license fee of bars, wholesale licenses for IMFL and beer have been revised.

New sizes of bottles for IMFL have been introduced. These are 700 ml, 500 ml, 90 ml and 60 ml. The minimum retail sales price in respect of these sizes of bottles has also been prescribed. It is Rs 95 for a bottle of 700 ml, Rs 65 for 500 ml, Rs 10 for 90 ml bottle and Rs five for 60 ml bottle.

While giving a relief to the licensees, the system of payment of 80 per cent license fee in eight installments has been revised to nine instalments and the last date for depositing the fee has been revised from 15th of each month to 20th of each month.

As in case of the policy for the year 2007-08, no liquor vend would be allowed in Kurukshetra, Thanesar ( except Pipli along side National Highway) and Pehowa in the Policy for the year 2008-09.

Every licensee would be required to keep the vends closed on Republic Day, Independence Day and birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

It was also observed in the cabinet meeting that the collections of excise revenue have gone up significantly during last three years.

UNI VKJ BK1922

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