PUDUCHERRY: After two months of shutdown, liquor shops in Puducherry and Karaikal will reopen from Monday with hiked prices equal to that of Tamil Nadu's rates, to keep tipplers in nearby districts away from the Union Territory.
The government has levied a Special Excise Duty of 25 percent on the MRP of IMFL (India Made Foreign Liquor) brands which are exclusively sold in Puducherry and Karaikal, numbering 766 and some duty on the remaining 154 brands sold in the UT.
The Special Excise duty is variable for these brands and is set for a period of three months from the start of sale.
For arrack, 20 per cent Special Excise duty has been levied on ex-distillery price.
The shops will function from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and only take away would be allowed, said PWD minister A Namassivayam holding the Excise portfolio.
Each buyer can get a maximum of 4.5 litres of IMFL and 7.5 litres of beer. The shops will display the price of the liquor of all brands according to the quantity.
Bars have not permitted to sell liquor.
In view of Covid-19 pandemic, the Special Excise duty has been levied to ensure that people from adjoining districts of neighbouring states do not come to Puducherry to purchase liquor, said Namassivayam.
Additional police force has been deployed on the borders and there would be strict vigil on the border shops by a team of Excise and police personnel, he said.
For restarting liquor sale in Yanam region, a proposal by levying special excise duty to match the rates in Andhra Pradesh is being processed, while for Mahe region, reopening liquor shops will depend on starting liquor sale in Kerala, said Namassivayam.