There is good news for tipplers in Uttar Pradesh. The prices of alcohol are set to get cheaper as the state government has announced a cut on excise duty. The announcement was done on Saturday. Uttar Pradesh has made it mandatory to obtain a license to keep liquor more than the prescribed limit at home.
This is one of the highlights of the new liquor policy approved by the Yogi Adityanath cabinet through circulation.
As per the new rules, an individual is now permitted to store 1.5 litres of each country-made and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) liquor and four bottles of beer.
To store liquor more than the prescribed limit, a license would have to be secured from the state excise department.
According to excise officials, a license shall be issued for purchase, transport, and possessing the stocks in excess of the prescribed retail sale limit to individuals, on payment of Rs 12,000 as license fee and a security amount of Rs 51,000 per year subject to the conditions prescribed.
The state government has set a revenue target of Rs 34,500 crore in 2021-22 from the excise department against the expected revenue collection of Rs 28,340 crore in 2020-21.
As per an official source, while the quality and economically priced UP made liquor, manufactured with Grain ENA of 42.8 per cent strength only, would now be available to the customers in tetra packs at Rs 85 at the country liquor shops across the state, there has been no rise in the maximum retail price of country-made liquor.
The sale of foreign liquor in 90 ml bottles under the regular category would be permitted. Low alcohol beverages (LBA) would now be available at retail shops of foreign-made liquor, model shops, and premium retail vend besides the beer shops.
The excise duty on beer has been reduced and its shelf life would be nine months.
In order to promote the production of wine within the state, wine made out of locally produced fruits shall be exempted from excise duty for a period of five years. Vintners shall be allowed the retail sale of wine. Wine taverns shall also be allowed in its premises.
To promote ease of doing business, brand registration, label approval, bar, and micro-brewery licenses will have the option to be renewed up to three years instead of requiring approvals every year.
Due to the situation arising out of Covid-19, the period from April-2020 to June-2020 shall be excluded in determining the renewal criteria.
The new policy also encompasses the total digitalisation of the excise department in 2021-22. Efforts would be made to computerise all the processes and procedures of the excise department under the Integrated Excise Supply Chain Management System (IESCMS).
Under the new policy, it has been made mandatory for the retail shops to install PoS machines for selling the liquor.
Moreover, premium retail vends shall be permitted at airports. Wine-tasting facilities and sale of drinking accessories shall be allowed at premium retail vends.
The provision that no liquor shop shall be opened within five kilometers of the border of another district, without the consent of the Collectors of both the districts has been done away with.
Sale of imported liquor and Indian made foreign liquor in the scotch category, with a maximum retail price of Rs 2,000 or more, will be permissible in mono-cartons.
The power for renewal of micro-brewery licenses shall be delegated from Excise Commissioner to District Collector who shall be authorised to amend the names of the renewed shops.
A special campaign will be launched to create awareness to the public on the ill effects of drinking and responsible drinking. The campaign will mainly focus on underage drinking, drink driving and responsible consumption.