The State Government has decided to permit opening of 2,216 retail liquor outlets across the State for the excise year 2017-19 starting October 1.
The Government had enhanced the non-refundable application fee from ₹50,000 to ₹1 lakh for the period while it had reduced the slabs for the outlets from six to four. Accordingly, an annual fee, termed as Retail Shop Excise Tax, of ₹45 lakh a year would be charged for liquor outlets in the areas with population up to 50,000 while the tax would be ₹55 lakh a year for liquor shops to be located in areas with population between 50,001 and five lakh.
Tax for shops in areas with population above five lakh and below 20 lakh would be ₹85 lakh a year and for shops in areas with population of more than 20 lakh, it had been fixed at ₹1.1 crore a year. The Excise tax is inclusive of the charges levied for the permit rooms that would be set up by the liquor outlets. The government had decided to restore the old timings for the liquor outlets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Applications for opening the new outlets will be issued from September 13 and the last date for receipt of applications at the respective offices of the excise superintendents is September 19. The department will conduct draw of lots for selection of prospective licensees on September 23 and the new shops would be opened from October 1.
While there was no increase in the number of shops during the two-year period, the Government has, decided to relocate 72 outlets for which there were no takers during the previous term. These shops would be accordingly set up in place in line with the local requirement, according to the the excise policy announced by the State for the year 2017-19.
According to Revenue Department Principal Secretary (Commercial Taxes and Excise) Somesh Kumar, there would be 1,262 outlets in the areas with population below 50,000 and 444 outlets in areas with population up to five lakh. The number of outlets in areas with population up to 20 lakh was estimated at 44 and those with more than 20 lakh, predominantly the GHMC limits, was expected to be 466. “Shops situated within five kms from the periphery of the municipal corporation/greater municipal corporation shall also be at the rate of the retail shop excise tax of a shop situated within the limits of the corporation,” he said.
The government was expecting to generate revenue to the tune of ₹1,360 crore through allotment of licences for the two-year period. This was slightly higher than the ₹1,260 crore of the previous term. A decision to double the application fee had been taken to avoid filing of applications by even the non-serious individuals.
The government had also made it mandatory for the liquor outlets to install at least two CCTV cameras in each outlet. These CCTV cameras would be linked to the main server of the department enabling it to monitor the operation of the shops and ensure that there were no irregularities like adulteration of liquor in the outlets.