The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led government has planned to come up with a new excise policy. According to a statement from the Delhi government on Friday, this policy will be finalized soon.
The way Delhi government under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has developed a revolutionary model of education similarly this excise policy will be developed, the statement read. The new excise policy of the Delhi government will ensure transparency and ease of doing business to the taxpayers and business sector too. The new excise policy of the Delhi government will also ensure steady growth of government revenues, the statement added.
"Arvind Kejriwal directed to transform the policy of Delhi in a transparent and progressive manner. The Delhi Cabinet in its meeting constituted a Group of Ministers under the Chairmanship of Manish Sisodia who also holds the finance portfolio. Satyendar Jain and Kailash Gahlot, the Health and Law Ministers respectively are other members of the group of ministers," it read.
As per the statement, the group of ministers will examine all the aspects of the current system of excise duty administration, the report of the expert committee and the suggestions/feedback/comments received from the stakeholders/general public and suggest progressive new excise policy in a transparent manner to the council of ministers which is expected to make a final policy decision in the coming weeks.
As part of its commitment to transparency, the Delhi Government had invited comments from stakeholders and the general public after placing the report of the expert committee in the public domain. The government has received an overwhelming 14,000 plus suggestions/comments from the stakeholders and the general public.
Meanwhile, this new excise policy has its share of detractors as these sweeping changes could push liquor prices in Delhi to an all-time high. According to a MoneyControl report, the government is contemplating a near 50 per cent increase in liquor prices and raise its revenue from Indian liquor, foreign liquor and country liquor to nearly Rs 8,000 crore from the current earning of Rs 5,000 crore.
"The Delhi government currently earns excise revenue of Rs 46 crore from brand registration, Rs 4,507 crore from Indian liquor, Rs 240 crore from foreign liquor and Rs 210 crore from country liquor. The state government also earns Rs 170 crore from license fees from restaurants and bars servings liquor, Rs 300 crore from export and permit fees, and Rs 40 crores from retail licenses. It totals up to Rs 5,068.70 crore, which the state government wants to increase to nearly Rs 8,000 crore," the report said.
Besides, the expert committee has also recommended fewer dry days, lowering the age of drinking to 21, and extending timings of restaurants and bars serving liquor.
(With ANI inputs)