Lucknow: It is indeed disheartening for tipplers. The killjoy Yogi Adityanath government has made it mandatory to obtain a license for stacking more than the prescribed limit of six litres of liquor in private bars at home.
Political observers described it as a move akin to securing a license for possessing arms. If that were not dispiriting enough, tipplers will have to cough up more for Indian Made Foreign Liquor, as the state government has hiked the license fee by 7.5 per cent to offset the excise revenue losses incurred during lockdown.
A bottle of 750 ML will be costlier by Rs 20 to 40, depending on the brand
The new policy aims at mopping up Rs 34,500 crore from excise duty in 2021-2022, as against the expected revenue of 28,340 crores in the current financial year.
Those having private bars at home and keen on hoarding more liquor than the prescribed limit for personal consumption will have to obtain a license by shelling out Rs 12,000 annually and making a security deposit of Rs 51,000.
At the same time, to encourage the intake of low-alcohol content beverages, excise duty on beer has been reduced under the new policy. The government has also given excise duty holiday for five years to those making wine within the state with locally-produced fruits.
Though the government has hiked the license fees of country-made liquor by 7.5 per cent, it has not increased the maximum retail price. This will result in losses to retailers who are now allowed to sell country-made liquor in tetra packs.
The government, however, gave some relief to retailers by excluding peak Covid period from April to June 2020 while determining renewal of licenses, which now can be renewed for a maximum period of three years.
“Most of my family members live abroad. I am fond of collecting different scotch brands and the best wine. Each one of them brings two bottles of scotch or wine when they visit me. It is unfair that I have to obtain a license for my collection. We already pay heavy excise duty to buy liquor, why then license the bars at home?” lamented Yash, a teetotaller but an avid collector.