PUDUCHERRY: After two months, liquor shops in Puducherry and Karaikal will reopen from Monday with enhanced rates equal to Tamil Nadu.
The government has levied a Special Excise Duty of 25 percent on the MRP of 766 IMFL (India Made Foreign Liquor) brands which are exclusively sold in Puducherry and Karaikal, to keep tipplers from Tamil Nadu away.
On the remaining 154 brands sold in Puducherry, the difference in the existing MRP and the revised MRP is the Special Excise duty levied. The Special Excise duty is variable for these brands, depending on the products. For arrack, 20 percent Special Excise duty has been levied on the ex-distillery price for a period of three months from the start of the sale .
The shops will function from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m and only takeaway would be allowed, said PWD minister A Namassivayam holding the Excise portfolio.
Each buyer can buy 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. The bars have not been granted the permission to sell liquor. In addition, 20 liquor licences which have been cancelled and the 82 licences which have been suspended, would not be allowed to sell liquor.
In view of Covid-19 pandemic, the Special Excise duty has been levied to ensure that people from adjoining districts of neighboring states do not come to Puducherry to purchase liquor, said Namassivayam. The additional police force has been deployed on the borders and there would be strict vigil on 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. Meanwhile, for Mahe, reopening liquor shops will depend on starting liquor sale in Kerala, said Namassivayam.