Punjab earns record revenue on liquor vend applications

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Chandigarh, Mar 11 (UNI) The Punjab Government has earned a record revenue of Rs 38.25 crore as application fee for the allotment of liquor vends in the state for the current financial year.

''The amount is Rs 10 crore more than the previous year,'' Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal disclosed this here today while claiming that a record number of about 57,000 applications were received from all parts of the state as against last year's 47,291.

The Chief Minister said the increase in the revenue was despite the fact that in the year 2008-09, rates for the application forms had been considerably reduced. This fiscal year, a total of 6902 liquor vends would be auctioned in Punjab.

Mr Badal pointed out that the draw of lots for the allotment of liquor vends would be held tomorrow. The state government have directed the Deputy Commissioner of each district to be present as an Observer to ensure transparent allotment.

The Chief Minister said directions had been issued to the Excise Department that no departmental officer would pick any application from the draw. It has been decided that the DCs would invite people from the audience to do the honours.

The unalloted vends as on March 12 would be subject to a second draw of lots to be held on March 17, for which the last date of submitting the applications will be March 15.

''The state government is expecting that excise revenue receipts will be around Rs 1728 crore as compared to Rs 1656 crore last year.

Thus, there will be an expected increase of Rs 72 crore over the last year,'' Mr Badal said.

Excise and Taxation Financial Commissioner Shivinder Singh Brar said the increase was possible because of a well-thought out Excise Policy and the fact that the Department had conducted a thorough survey to rationalise the quota of liquor vends across the state.

The quota of Punjab Made Desi Liquor (PML) has been increased by three per cent over the last year while there would be no increase in the quota of the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).

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