Updated March 9th, 2024 at 21:14 IST

Imported liquor to get cheaper under Punjab's new excise policy

This decision, made during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, marks the third excise policy under the Aam Aadmi Party government.

Reported by: Business Desk
Punjab excise policy 2024-25 | Image:Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
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Punjab excise policy 2024-25: The Punjab cabinet has approved a new excise policy for the fiscal year 2024-25, aiming to generate revenue of Rs 10,145.95 crore from liquor sales. Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema announced that the policy entails a drop in prices of imported foreign liquor (IFL) while maintaining the rates of country liquor.

This decision, made during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, marks the third excise policy under the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government. Cheema highlighted that this policy is projected to generate over Rs 10,000 crore in revenue, a significant increase from the previous regime's earnings of Rs 6,151 crore from liquor sales.

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Under the new policy, liquor vends will be allotted through a draw of lots, with 232 groups formed compared to the previous 172. Cheema emphasised that this change aims to bring stability and reform to the liquor trade. Additionally, adjustments have been made to the license fee structure, introducing an adjustable fee for IMFL and IFL passes.

To ensure sufficient availability of country liquor (Punjab Medium Liquor or PML), the quota for the financial year 2024-25 has been increased by 3 per cent, totaling 8.286 crore proof litres. Cheema assured that there will be no price hike for country liquor during this period.

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Furthermore, the excise policy includes measures to address issues such as counterfeit liquor and promote responsible drinking. Cheema noted that security amounts have been reduced, and bar licensees are required to provide alcometers for alcohol-level assessment.

In another decision, the cabinet approved a plan allowing colonisers to pay pending external development charges (EDC) in three instalments over a year and a half. The one-time settlement scheme 2023 for tax arrears has also been extended from March 31 to June 30.

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(With PTI inputs.)

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Published March 9th, 2024 at 21:14 IST