Punjab may earn ₹6,000 crore from liquor business

Chandigarh, March 14: The Punjab government on Tuesday approved the new excise policy for the State and expects to earn ₹6,000 crore during the next fiscal from the liquor business.

“For the current fiscal, the excise department expects to collect ₹5,150 crore by the end of financial year, as against ₹4,400 crore collected during 2016-17,” said an official statement.

The government said the excise policy for 2018-19 has been approved with the aim of breaking the monopoly in the liquor business and keeping prices under control, by slashing the group size from ₹40 crore to ₹5 crore, thus increasing the number of groups from the current 84 to around 700 in the next fiscal.

“The group size, under the new policy, has been kept very small – at ₹5 crore only – with variation up to 25% to enable sufficient competition in the market, leading to reduced prices. The rate of application has been fixed at ₹18,000/- (including GST, if any). Besides, to streamline the business, the number of liquor vends will be reduced from 5,850 to 5,700 (approximately),” said the statement.

The Cabinet also approved the draft Punjab Transparency and Accountability in Delivery of Public Services Bill, 2018, while also deciding to set up a sub-committee on governance reforms.

It was decided that the new legislation will repeal the earlier Punjab Right to Service (RTS) Act, 2011. An official statement said the key features of the legislation include back-end computerisation of all public services within three to five years, online receipt of service requests as a mandatory provision and electronic delivery of services to citizens in a time-bound manner.

The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval to the constitution of the Punjab Governance Reforms and Ethics Commission (PGREC) to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency in all government departments. “The commission has also been entrusted with the task of making recommendations to government departments to undertake structural reforms in various areas of governance,” the statement added.

The Cabinet decided to place the Punjab Police (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, before the Assembly for enactment in the budget session.

Source Tribune India