The Uttar Pradesh government has given its approval to the Excise Policy 2021-22, expecting revenue to jump by Rs 6,000 crore during the fiscal. The approval was granted by the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The cabinet meeting took place on Saturday night. "To provide good quality liquor at economic prices, UP Made Liquor (in Tetra-pack and of 42.8 per cent strength only) made from Grain ENA, shall be sold at an MRP of Rs 85 through country liquor shops. Integrated Supply Chain Management System (IESCMS) shall be implemented by computerizing the various processes of the department.
The system of sale of liquor in retail shops using PoS machines shall be implemented in 2021-22," the state government said in a statement on Saturday. The Excise Policy got clearance of the UP Cabinet hours after five people died and 16 others hospitalised after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district on Friday. The authorities have suspended four policemen and removed three senior Meerut zone excise officials from their post for laxity. An excise inspector and three other members of the department have also been suspended.
Police have also arrested the main accused, identified as Kuldeep. As against expected revenue Rs 28,340 crore in 2020-21, the expected revenue for 2021-22 is Rs 34,500 crore, the statement said. Renewal of country liquor, foreign liquor, beer, bhang retail shops and model shops permitted for 2021-22. Due to situation arising out of Covid-19, the period April 2020 to June 2020 shall be excluded in determining the renewal criteria, according to the new policy. To promote production of wine within the state, wine made out of locally produced fruits shall be exempted from excise duty for a period of five years, it said. Vintners shall be allowed retail sale of wine. Wine Tavern shall also be allowed in its premises, the policy said.
The sale of Low Alcoholic Beverages (LAB) shall be allowed in foreign liquor retail shops, model shops and premium retail vends in addition to beer shops. The excise duty on beer is reduced and the shelf life of beer will be 9 months, it added. Premium retail vends shall be permitted at airports. Wine tasting facility and sale of drinking accessories shall be allowed at premium retail vends.
A special campaign will be launched to create awareness to the public on the ill effects of drinking and responsible drinking, the statement said. The campaign will mainly focus on --- under age drinking, drunken driving and responsible consumption. Rupees one crore will be earmarked for this campaign, it added.
To promote ease of doing business, brand registration, label approval, bar and micro-brewery licences will have the option to be renewed up to 3 years instead of requiring approvals every year, the New Excise Policy said. Advance storage of foreign liquor, beer and wine for the year 2021-22 will be allowed from February 15. Also, to ensure availability of liquor during the beginning of the year, rollover process of residual stock on March 31 for next year is simplified and there will be no roll over fee for carrying forward of these stocks.
Keeping in view the festival of Holi, the renewed country liquor retail shops will be allowed sale of residual stock till April 7, it said. To encourage exports from the state, brand and label approval process for exports to other states and countries simplified. Keeping in view the complex process of trade mark registration and the time taken, brand registration will be permissible on submission of proof of filing of application for trademark registration, the state government said.
At present, the strength of alcohol is being measured by manual hydrometers. To promote use of technology in monitoring of production processes, the use of digital alcohol meters certified/ calibrated by NABL will be mandatory in laboratories of the department and in distilleries.
The sugar mills and distilleries in the state shall install mandated modern electronic devices before December 31, 2021.
Sale of imported liquor (BIO) and Indian made foreign liquor in scotch category, with maximum retail price of Rs 2,000 or more, will be permissible in mono-cartons. The provision that no liquor shop shall be opened within 5 kilometers of the border of another district, without the consent of the collector of both the districts will be done away with, the policy said. The power for renewal of micro-brewery licenses shall be delegated from Excise Commissioner to District Collector. District Collector shall be authorised to amend the names of the renewed shops, the statement said.