Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today accorded approval to Excise Policy for the year 2020-21. New Excise Policy envisages collection of Rs. 1840 crores revenue during the year 2020-21 which is Rs. 215 crores higher than the financial year 2019-20 thereby registering an increase of 13 per cent.

The Cabinet gave its approval for renewal of the Retail Excise Vends in the State for the year 2020-21 with an objective to gain adequate enhancement in government revenue, reduction in the price of liquor and to curb its smuggling from the neighbouring States. The new Excise Policy also allows 30 per cent of the Country Liquor quota for the liquor manufacturers/bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees. The balance of 70 per cent quota can be lifted by the retail licensees from the suppliers of their choice.

The new policy also envisages taking FDR/Bank Guarantee from the retail licensees as security in lieu of security in a shape of property in order to secure the revenue of the government. From the next financial year, all the imported liquor in the State will be supplied by a public custom bonded warehouse located in the State. In addition to this, the policy also extended operational timings of the bars in all-star related hotels and bars in specified important tourist areas from 12 noon to 2 am past midnight.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for the H.P. Toll Policy for the year 2020-21. Under this policy, an option has been made for renewal of their lease after paying renewal fee of one per cent for the year 2020-21 and an increase of 10 per cent over the bid amount for the year 2019-20.  Due to this new Toll Policy the revenue to be collected during the year 2020-21 will be Rs. 106 crores, which will be Rs. 9.5 crore more than the toll revenue estimated for the year 2019-20, giving an overall increase of about 10 per cent. 

It also gave approval for capacity expansion of Distillery from 45 KL per day to 85 KL per day in favour of M/s Premier Alcobev Private Ltd., Sansarpur Terrace in Kangra district. The State would earn an additional excise revenue of Rs. 18 to 20 crore per annum.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.