Punjab Cabinet extends excise policy for three months

Punjab Cabinet on Thursday approved the renewal of the state excise policy for three more months — from April 1 to June 30 — allowing existing licensees to retain their vends if they provide 1.75 per cent excess revenue over Minimum Guaranteed Revenue (MGR). The Minimum Guaranteed Quota (MGQ) of liquor has also been enhanced by 10 per cent.

In a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, on Thursday, the policy was allowed to be renewed for three months to those existing licensees who provide 1.75% excess revenue over Minimum Guaranteed Revenue (MGR) for the financial year 2021-22 for their respective group/zone in order to maintain stability in liquor trade. The number of groups/zones and the number of liquor vends will remain the same.

The government, meanwhile, is set to come out with its new excise policy in June as it has also presented its vote on account for the period of three months. The government will also in June present its budget for the financial year that starts tomorrow (February).

A government statement after Thursday’s meeting said that the MGR of groups/zones of the state will be Rs 1440.96 crore for a period of three months. The revenue target of the short-term Excise Policy has been kept at Rs 1910 crores for three months.

In order to generate more revenue, the Minimum Guaranteed Quota (MGQ) of Punjab Medium Liquor (PML), Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), beer and Imported Foreign Liquor (IFL) of each group/zone has been increased by 10 per cent over the minimum guaranteed quota of corresponding first quarter of last financial year of the respective group/zone.

Further, to allow retail licensees to lift liquor as per their requirement, the amount of additional fixed license fee has been increased, revealed a government spokesperson.

The ratio of fixed and open quota of PML shall be 30:70, as was prevalent during the financial year 2021-22.

In order to control the production and movement of liquor, a IT-based track and trace system will be implemented in the next financial year, the statement added.

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