Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to open liquor vends from May 4. The decision was taken during a state cabinet meeting today.

The Cabinet has also decided not to charge any licence fee from liquor vends remained closed due to the Coronavirus lockdown after 22nd March to 3rd May. Cabinet note read

The retail excise licensees will be allowed to lift the remaining Minimum Guaranteed Quota of 2019-20 if due, against the License fee deposited before 31st March, 2020 and in case the complete License Fee has not been deposited by 31st March, 2020 then such excise licensees will be allowed to lift the pending quota against the deposition of the pending Excise License Fee for 2019-20 in the month of April/May, 2020 whenever the vends are opened. If any, retail excise licensee lifts Country Liquor/IMF/Beer /Wine/Cider/BIO brands over and above the pending quota due of 2019-20, Excise Licensee will lift the same against the deposition of the prescribed levies as per the Excise Policy 2019-20.

The state Cabinet has also decided to change the excise policy period for the current and the next fiscal year.

The Cabinet also gave its nod to post facto approval of extension of Toll Policy 2019-20 upto 31st May, 2020 and operation of Toll Policy 2020-21 from 1st June, 2020 to 31st May, 2021. The Toll Lessees will be allowed to deposit monthly toll fees for April and May, 2020 on the basis of their actual collection of toll fees.