The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday approved the new excise policy 2020-21, with continued focus on maintaining stability in the liquor trade while protecting the state’s excise revenue.Under the new policy, existing licensees, who attain 12% excess revenue over the Minimum Guaranteed Revenue (MGR), will be allowed renewal for the year 2020-21. A target of Rs. 6250 crore has been fixed as against anticipated collection of Rs. 5676 crore of 2019-20, as per the new policy. The excise revenue is expected to go up to Rs. 5676 crore in 2019-20 from Rs. 5150 crore in 2018-19 as a result of the sweeping reforms initiated by Captain Amarinder Government in its previous pro-trade and pro-retail excise policy, according to an official spokesperson.In the new policy, the number of groups had been retained at last year’s level of 756. The MGR from retail vends during 2020-21 is to be realized at Rs.4850 crores, as against Rs.4529.40 crores during 2019-20. The MGR of each Group/Zone during 2020-21 has been increased by 8% over 2019-20.The Government can offer renewal to the existing licensees if they pay 12% excess revenue over the MGR fixed, for the year 2021-22, and the renewal fee will vary from 1% to 4%, depending on the response of application in the previous year.The spokesperson further pointed out that the department would invite applications for renewal of groups/zones of 2019-20 for the year 2020-21 through a public notice. The MGR of each group/zone will be fixed 8% higher than the MGR of last year i.e. 2019-20. After the approval of Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioners (DETCs)-cum-Collectors of Divisions, the details would be displayed on the notice boards of the concerned districts and also be put on the website of the Department.
The licensee will submit an application to the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC) concerned, along with renewal fee at Rs 10 lakhs, along with details of payments made till date and an undertaking that he would deposit 12% excess revenue of the MGR fixed for his group for the year 2019-20 by March 20, 2020.The licensee would also be required to submit an Affidavit under order 7 of the Punjab Intoxicants License & Sale Order, 1956, besides depositing the prescribed Fixed License Fee and Addl. Fixed License Fee on the dates prescribed in the Excise Policy 2020-21, i.e. Rs.10 lakhs by February 28, 2020 and the balance amount by March 23, 2020.The spokesperson further disclosed that Fixed License Fee of Rs.600 crores during 2019-20 is to be increased to Rs.625 crores while the Additional Fixed License Fee of Rs.120 crores during 2019-20 is also to be increased to Rs.385 crores under the new policy. Instead of any significant increase in the quota of different kinds of liquor, the increase has only been in the additional license fee, because the licensees can lift quota of liquor as per their choice, out of this Additional Fixed License Fee.Generally, the fees for licenses has been modestly increased or kept at the existing level the spokesperson added.The excise duty at retail is to be increased nominally (Rs.5/- for PML, Rs.4/- for IMFL and Rs.2/- for beer). At wholesale stage, there is no increase in Excise Duty rates at PML, in the case of IMFL, the increase is approx. 5% and in the case of Beer, while the duty has been enhanced from Rs.62/- per BL to Rs.68/- for strong beer.As per the new policy, the Ex-Distillery Price (EDP) for fixed quota of PML has been fixed at Rs.271.11 per case. Now, the retail licensee will be allowed to interchange his quota of PML, IMFL and Beer up to 15%. The VAT paid on imported (BIO) liquor is also to be adjusted in additional fixed license fee and additional 12% revenue requirement for renewal of licenses next year. The L-2B license is to be issued to the retail licensees only in his area for sale of BIO brands in partnership with General Stores whose GST taxable turnover is Rs.1.00 crore during last year.The number of retail vends have been retained at last year's level of 5835. Bottling Fee on IMFL has been increased from Rs.1/- per bulk litre to Rs.1.00 per BL (for EDP upto Rs.650 per case), Rs.1.25 per BL (for EDP 651-2000 per case) and Rs.1.50 per BL (for EDP above 2000).
The licensee can carry forward unsold quota of 2019-20 to next year i.e. 2020-21 at nominal transfer fee of Rs.25/- per PL (for PML), Rs.40/- per PL (for IMFL), Rs.45/- per PL for Imported Foreign Liquor, Rs.12/- per BL for Imported Fee and Rs.10/- per BL for Beer.Under the new polic, the marriage palaces would be responsible for unauthorised consumption of liquor on their premises. On first offence, penalty of Rs.25,000, on second offence Rs.50,000, and on third offence, a penalty of Rs.1,00,000 would be charged. Cow cess is to be charged as per provisions of 2019-20, in the shape of Special License Fee, whereas quarterly assessed fee to be charged from Bars has been marginally increased.License fee of Distilleries was rationalised last year on the basis of installed capacity. On similar lines, the license fee of Bottling Plants will be rationalised on the basis of bottling lines and of Breweries on the basis of capacity.Further, the state government is contemplating imposition of minimum excise duty on the basis of installed manufacturing capacity of various manufacturers (distilleries and bottling plants). This may require an amendment in law/rules, which can be done during the year. Flow meters would be made mandatory for bottling plants.On experimental basis, the government may introduce an online platform for online home delivery in Mohali city, which will be done in consultation with all the retail licensees of the city. The experiment would not, however, be undertaken even if a single licensee objects to it.