Lucknow: Like licenses for possessing arms, the Yogi Adityanath government has made it mandatory for obtaining license for those keeping more than the prescribed limit of six litres of liquor in their private bars at home.
Besides this, tipplers in Uttar Pradesh are in for yet another shock as they will have to sell out more for Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) as the state government has hiked the license fees by 7.5 per cent to cover up 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 targets to mop up Rs 34,500 crore from the excise duty in 2021-2022 against expected revenue of 28,340 crores in the current financial year.
As per the excise department rules, only 6 litres of liquor is allowed to be purchased and kept at home in private bars. To achieve targets, the state government has made it mandatory for obtaining a license for anyone who wants to keep more than the prescribed limit.
Those having private bars at home and keeping liquor more than the prescribed limit for personal consumption will have to obtain a license by paying Rs 12,000 annually and security deposit of Rs 51,000.
To encourage low-alcohol beverages, the new policy has reduced the excise duty on beer. The government has also exempted excise duty for five years for those making wine within the state with locally-produced fruits.
Though the government has hiked the license fees by 7.5 per cent on country-made liquor also but it has not increased the maximum retail sale price. This will result in losses to retailers who are 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 and best wine. Each one of them brings two bottles of scotch or wine when they visit me. It is unfair that I have to take a license for my collection. We already pay heavy excise duty to buy liquor, why then license bars at home?” rued Yash, a teetotaler but an avid collector.