The new excise policy will be implemented only after the formation of the next government, Punjab Excise and Taxation Commissioner A Venuprasad announced while chairing a state-level meeting of excise officials and liquor contractors on Monday.
The new cabinet will approve the policy and also conduct the draw of lots in various districts, Venuprasad told the gathering that took place at the circuit house to take suggestions from contractors and also to review the arrangements required to draft a formal policy.
During the meeting, Venuprasad indicated that license fee for liquor vends and various brands will be hiked. This year, while the department aims to collect Rs 3,200 crore in taxes from distilleries and liquor vends, 10 per cent raise has been projected for the next financial year.
The license fee is different for various cities while for Ludhiana, the fee for one group (comprising of 12-14 shops) was Rs 7.75 crore in the last draw of lots, for Fatehgarh Sahib, it was Rs 2.5 crore for eight shops. The rates are thus expected to increase.
The contractors, however, suggested a slash in the rates of country liquor at least the one which is being sold at Rs 106 per bottle arguing that demand has come down due to the hike in prices. They also suggested that instead of draw of lots, a tender system be floated for vends on lines of Haryana, where minimum rates of license fee are fixed by the government and the highest bidder gets the contract. This way, more revenue can be earned.