April onwards liquor to be cheaper in Punjab

The old price for a bottle of beer was Rs 180, it will be Rs 140 per bottle now, while IMFL liquor will be priced at Rs 550 down from Rs 600 and country-made liquor bottle will be priced at Rs 200 instead of Rs 250 per bottle

Liquor to be cheaper in Punjab from the next fiscal year.

The Hush Post: Liquor is going to be cheaper in Punjab. The Punjab government has announced that big distillers-cum-contractors will not be able to monopolise the market in the state. The liquor prices had seen substantial hike in the last few years.

In the coming fiscal, rural consumers will pay levy (@ Rs 5 per proof litre) on desi liquor and foreign made liquor which ultimately goes as ‘cow cess’ in the cities and for welfare of livestock in rural areas.

To ensure that the monopoly in liquor trade is broken, Punjab government has increased the number of groups (licensing units) from a total of 84 groups to 900 in the fiscal 2018-19. The size of the group has been fixed at a maximum of Rs 5 crore (excise collection in a year).

The contractors can, though, bid for and take as many groups and as many places as they wish for in the auction.

This will mean increase in the number of contractors, leading to more competition and it will also ensure that liquor prices are not manipulated. The ET Department had proposed the licensing units at 1,400, with the size of the group as big as Rs 3-4 crore.

The liquor trade analysts say that reducing the quota to be sold as per the minimum guaranteed quota (from 8.44 crore PL to 5.78 crore PL for country/desi liquor; from 3.71 crore PL to 2.48 crore PL for foreign made liquor; and, from 3.22 crore bulk litre to 2.57 crore BL for beer) would essentially mean that liquor smuggling will increase.


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