Have to own property to run liquor vend in J&K under new rules

Under the new policy, more liquor vends can be opened at tourist places in the UT. Unveiled by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Atal Dulloo, 51 new vends will be opened.
Image used for representational purpose. (File photo)
Image used for representational purpose. (File photo)

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government has released a new excise policy. Under it, only J&K domiciles who have immovable property in the UT can participate in the bid process to own liquor outlets. Also, one person cannot own more than one liquor vend. This will come into effect from April 1.

Under the new policy, more liquor vends can be opened at tourist places in the UT. Unveiled by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Atal Dulloo, 51 new vends will be opened — 45 in Jammu and six in Kashmir.

“In order to obviate the possibility of cartelisation and monopolistic practices, only one location will be allotted to a bidder for which his/her bid is the highest,” reads the policy.

It further states that in order to ensure transparency in the allotment of vends, a bidder should have immovable property in J&K UT worth up to 100 per cent of the bid value.

They also have to produce property certificates from the competent authority.

“The bidder should not be a tax defaulter under different acts governing J&K.”

To ensure that rules are not flouted and the auctions happens in a transparent manner, the policy states an e-auction portal would be operated by J&K Bank as a third party nodal agency.

The policy encourages local production by exempting export duty on all kinds of liquor. The Earnest Money Deposit has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.

There is also a Minimum Guaranteed Revenue of 10%. The excise policy makes it clear that authorities are targetting tourist spots.

“The Excise Department shall offer/facilitate setting up of liquor vends having high revenue potential in tourist locations in the government owned/maintained tourist facilities of JKTDC/Tourism Department/Tourism Development authorities wherever possible,” states the policy.

Also, there shallww be a ban on import of JMFL brands having MRP of up to Rs 600 per bottle into J&K to protect the local industry.

The objective of the policy is to encourage transition from high to low alcohol-content beverages, provide a wide variety of brands and create more places for consumption to consumers.

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