Home Dehradun Cabinet finally approves Excise Policy 2024

Cabinet finally approves Excise Policy 2024

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 14 Feb: A cabinet meeting was held today at the Secretariat under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and several important proposals were approved. Among the more important was the decision to approve the Excise Policy for the year 2024-25.  In all, 15 proposals were discussed in today’s cabinet meeting and most of the proposals were approved.

According to the new excise policy, a provision has been made for establishment of micro-distillation units to encourage innovation and investment in hill areas of the state. The new policy has fixed a target of 11 percent increase in revenue from excise for the financial year 2024-25. The government has claimed that the new policy will bring greater transparency and prevent adulterated liquor and ensure wider brand availability in view of Uttarakhand being a tourist state. Local entrepreneurs will be greatly benefitted. A target of Rs 4440 crores has been given for the financial year 2024-2025 with an increase of 11 percent relative to the revenue target of Rs 4000 crores for the current financial year 2023-24. Along with this, provision has been made to establish micro distillation units to encourage innovation and investment in the hill region, which can be established in minimum area in the category of micro industries, which is economically viable and suitable for the Himalayan region. According to the government, the new policy encourages greater use of local herbs, fruits and flowers for production of high quality liquors including aromatic liquors and malts which can match liquor produced in Scotland and Italy.

For the first time, provisions have been made for bottling of foreign liquor in view of excise revenue and investment so that the state can be established from a consumer state to a producer and exporting state. The wholesale trade of foreign liquor in the state will be transferred to the Uttarakhand State Department. Provision has also been made to give Wholesale License/Trade (FL-2) License for Supply of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to the eligible citizens of Uttarakhand for the employment of original/permanent residents. In addition, provision for bulk license FL-2 (O) has been made for the supply of overseas liquor, so that the trade of overseas liquor coming through custom bond can be controlled in the interest of revenue.

In the interest of the farmers associated with agriculture/horticulture of the state, inclusion of local fruits like tangerine, Malta, Kaphal, apple, pear, Timur, Aad, etc., in the country liquor has been allowed. Liquor shops will be arranged transparently on the principle of renewal, two-stage lottery, first in, first out and with a view to earning maximum revenue. Renewal will be done only for those licenses whose all their past due liabilities are clear and their securities are secure.

A provision has also been made for the license fee for sale of liquor in malls and departmental stores in the hill tehsils and districts with minimum area of the shop fixed at 400 square feet. Unlike last year, the bar license fee has been determined according to the star category, similarly, from the tourism point of view, a provision has been made for seasonal bar license fee.