While no major change has been suggested, prices of country made liquor (tetra pack and bottle) are expected to go up by Rs 5 as duty has been increased. Excise duty levied on beer and Indian-made foreign liquor has been kept unchanged. License fees for all retailers will go up again by 10%.
Introducing measures to create additional revenue streams, the department would allow operation of premium liquor vends at metro stations, railway stations and airports as long as approval and no-objection certificate is taken from the competent authority.
Similarly, bar operators would be allowed to put up an additional counter by paying up an additional 25% of the license fees. The validity of the occasional bar license has been brought down from 24 hours to 12 hours and liquor would be allowed to be served till 12 midnight of the same day.
Excise commissioner Senthil C Pandian said: “Instead of molasses, grain-based country made liquor can be produced by the distilleries. So far, usage of grains was allowed only for the premium UP liquor, the premium country liquor that is sold in glass bottles.” Pandian added that the policy is aimed at increasing the income of farmers while ensuring better quality liquor for the end-consumers.
In another changed scenario, liquor vends would be allowed to let customers consume beer within the shop as long as a separate permit room is provided. However, canteen services (food and snacks) would not be allowed.
The policy has evoked mixed reactions from retailers.
“While beer shop owners would gain as on-premises consumption of brew would be possible. But the quota of country made liquor shop owners has been increased substantially and they would have to struggle. The margin of retailers has also been left unchanged,” said spokesperson of the UP liquor sellers welfare association, Devesh Jaiswal.
The annual revenue target for the 2024-25 financial year has been increased to Rs 50,000 crore.