Shimla Bar and Hotel owners seek revision in excise policy, say business becoming unviable every passing year

The Hush Post | 8:42 pm | One-minute read |

The Shimla Hotel & Restaurant Bar Association has demanded a review in the Excise & Taxation Policy of the state. The association today said that the business of serving and sale of alcohol in Bar and Hotel premises is becoming unviable every passing year.

The Association fears that a large number of Bars and Hotels in the state would ultimately have to surrender their licenses. Sanjay Sood, President, Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association today raised the issues faced by the industry during a media briefing in Shimla.

KEY DEMANDS

The demands include, reduction in license fee, removal of minimum lifting quota, permission to buy liquor from any L-1 unit or fixing of special buying rates, doing away with unjustified levy of penalty and discontinue with the policy of allowing Ahatas on the Mall Road.

Sood said that license fee has increased by almost 700 per cent in the last seven years. Besides, he said the Bars and Hotels also deposit 10% security in spite of having received the fees for the entire year two in advance. He also rued the imposition of minimum guaranteed quota stating it has led to victimization of the tax paying and revenue generating Bar Hotel owners.

The role of the State should be that of facilitator of business, added Sood.

In Shimla Bars and Hotels can only buy alcohol only from the nearest L-2 Liquor vends. Sood said, “The liquor is being sold to us at a higher price and the advantage of buying in larger volumes at discounted rates is not available to us because of the absence of competition among the L-2 liquor vends”.

Sanjay Sood said that if the government doesn’t grant timely relief, it will ultimately lead to will lead to a loss of revenue to the State, and will render large number of people jobless.

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