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Annual liquor licence fee for restaurants and bars remains the same as last year’s



GURGAON: The new excise policy, announced on Monday, kept the annual licence fee unchanged, bringing relief to pub and bar owners in Gurgaon. Last year, this fee was increased to ₹15 lakh from ₹12 lakh.

Officials sources said the pub and bar owners had appealed that the licence fee be kept the same in view of the losses they suffered due to the Supreme Court liquor ban along highways.

“We had received feedback from stakeholders that the liquor licence fee was high and they had requested that it not be increased this year. The government considered the appeal and granted relief to pubs, bars and restaurants,” additional chief secretary (excise and taxation) Sanjeev Kaushal, said.

“Last year, numerous restaurant and hotels suffered loss of revenue and employment due to the SC highway liquor ban. Some did re-open, but many could never resuscitate. We welcome the decision of not increasing the annual licence fee in this fiscal year; this mitigated the blow and will encourage entrepreneurs to re-invest in the state,” Rahul Singh, president of the National Restaurant Association of India, said.

The terms and conditions for granting bar licenses to golf clubs and resorts have also been relaxed across the state.

The number of retail outlets for country liquor vends and Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) would remain the same as 2017-18.

“Gurgaon was divided into 41 zones, which included 22 in west and 19 in east; this will remain the same this year as well,” deputy excise and taxation commissioner, Gurgaon (West), HC Dahiya, said.

The export duty on country liquor has also been reduced from 1.5paise per litre to 50paise per litre. However, the excise duty on country liquor has been increased from ₹28 per litre to ₹44 per litre. On IMFL, excise duty has been increased from ₹44-₹200 per litre to ₹49-₹210 per litre.

“The new policy has been announced with consideration towards the environment. Distilleries would be required to ensure at least 20% bottles for selling country liquor are glass. Apart from this, it is mandatory for liquor vend applicants to furnish their Aadhaar card number,” Kaushal said.

According to the new policy, the state government has decided to utilise ₹1 per bottle of country liquor, IMFL, and beer for promotion of sports activities. Also, ₹3, ₹5 and ₹7 from every bottle sold of beer, country liquor and IMFL, respectively, would be transferred to the Panchayati Raj Institutions for development activities in rural areas.

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