Liquor prices in city set to rise by 35-400 per cent

Liquor

From May 1, liquor prices in the city are set to go northwards, with the UT administration effecting a steep hike in excise duty besides an increase in the licence fee and assessment fee on various brands of liquor.

The hike in the excise duty, as per the excise policy for the year 2013-14 announced on Sunday, is going to affect the high-end liquor brand aficionados. The hike is as steep as almost 400 per cent on ultra-deluxe brands of Scotch, whisky such as Black Dog, Antiquity, 100 Pipers as compared to last year. Also, the with the hike in excise duty on beer being almost double, the prices of beer are also set to be increased by Rs 15-25 per bottle. Overall, the percentage hike in retail sale of liquor will be between 10 and 30 per cent on different brands of liquor.

With the enhancement, the prices will be on a par with those in Punjab. However, those buying liquor in Haryana will get it at the cheapest rates compared to the city and Punjab.

When contacted, Excise Commissioner Mohammad Shayin said, "We have enhanced the excise, keeping in mind the excise duties in the neighbouring states. We cannot have huge disparities in prices of liquor as compared to the neighbouring states."

With the removal of a dozen liquor vends on the roadside after the apex court decided against the same, the revenue projection for the next fiscal through liquor sales is likely to be adversely hit. As of now, these vends, strategically located on the entry points of the city, were fetching the maximum revenue for the department. Now these licences will be given to those who have an SCF/SCO.

The hike in the excise duty ranges from 35 to 400 per cent across different types of liquor. The maximum hike in excise duty is on the ultra-deluxe brand which is almost 400 per cent of last year's price.

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