CHANDIGARH: In a bid to control liquor smuggling from neighbouring states, Punjab government will form an additional battalion of police comprising one IGP or DIG level officer of state police with SP rank officers at Divisional level, the required number of DSPs, along with 50-60 police staff in each excise district.
The formation of a new team for the Department of Excise and Taxation comes in the wake of new excise policy cleared by the Punjab cabinet on Saturday. Under the new policy, the ex-distillery issue price (EDP) of country liquor which was earlier fixed by the Punjab Government is now handed over to the market forces, who will now be able to fix their own rates of their brands.
The new team will focus on breaking the monopolistic trends in the liquor trade and allotment of liquor vends in small groups, in line with the approach adopted last year. Under the new policy, approved by the state cabinet a target of Rs 6201 crore has been fixed as against anticipated collection of Rs 5462 crore fixed for the 2018-19.
As per the new policy, the number of groups would remain the same at approximately 700, whereas the group size would increase only to the extent of the anticipated increase in the revenue. This will ensure participation of small licensees, and the number of liquor vends will also remain almost the same as during the Excise Policy 2019-20. The licensees have been allowed to carry forward their unsold quota of liquor of 2018-19 to next year i.e. 2019-20 with a nominal fee.
Taking the consumption pattern into account, the quota of PML (country liquor) has been increased from 5.78 crore proof litres to 6.36 crore litres, an increase of 10 per cent.
Similarly, the quota of India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) has been increased from 2.48 crore proof litres to 2.62 crore proof litre, a rise by 6 per cent. There has been a 16 per cent increase in the quota of low alcoholic beverage such as beer from 2.57 crore Bulk Litres to 3.00 crore Bulk Litres.
An additional bottling fee of Rs 1 per litre will be levied, which is likely to generate a revenue of approximately Rs 30 crore. This amount will be allocated by the Finance Department for the purpose of alcohol de-addiction.