The Cabinet approves a new excise policy with an annual revenue target of Rs 10,145 crore

The Excise Policy for 2024–25 received approval today from the Council of Ministers, which is led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

As a result, the state’s beer and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) prices would increase by around 10%. The price of the nation’s booze, commonly known as Punjab Medium Booze (PML), may rise somewhat. The costs are scheduled to rise somewhat starting on April 1st, when the Excise Policy for 2024–25 takes effect.

According to sources, beer costs will increase by Rs 20–25 a bottle as a result of the government lifting the maximum retail price (MRP) threshold. The 2023–24 Excise Policy’s MRP limit was lifted in response to pressure from liquor sellers who claimed significant losses.

The Excise Policy for 2024–25, according to Excise and Taxation Minister Harpal Cheema, has a built-in mechanism to take action against any liquor contractor who overcharges for beer. The booze dealers predict that the prices of IMFL liquor would rise by Rs 50 per bottle, while those of country-made liquor will likely climb by Rs 4-5 a bottle.

Excise Department officials said that they had lowered L1 contractors’ profit margins and that they anticipated earning more than Rs 138 crore in excise fees from L1 contractors in 2023–2024.

The policy has raised the quota for the PML by three percent, so that 8.286 crore proof liters of liquor produced in the nation are anticipated to be sold in 2024–2025. There will be an open quota for beer and IMFL. Contractors in all districts bordering Chandigarh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir have apparently benefited from this open quota system by making money since IMFL was being smuggled out to these states, where prices are higher than in Punjab.

The licensing unit, often known as the group, is now less in size. Consequently, in 2024–2025, there would be 232 license units rather than 172. The policy will also conduct a drawing of lots for the distribution of liquor vends, replacing the current method of renewing liquor licenses for current retailers. This is another significant change for the next fiscal year. This will guarantee a large influx of new competitors into the market.

Additionally, the regulation has created a new PML category with 40 degree alcohol. It is anticipated that the country’s distilled liquor, which has a lower alcohol concentration, would do well in the Sutlej neighborhood, where a lot of hooch is created and drunk. A senior officer said that it may take the place of hooch.

For the first time, the Excise Policy also lays the groundwork for IMFL and counterfeit imported liquor regulation. It will be required of marriage palaces and banquets to put up dumpyards where all empty liquor bottles will be kept. These bottles will be broken once a month in front of excise officers. This will guarantee that the people producing fake booze won’t get their hands on the empty bottles.

Excise Commissioner Vikas Pratap Singh, the Financial Commissioner, predicted that the state will record its biggest excise collection ever in the next fiscal year, at Rs 10,145 crore.

Furthermore, alcometer installation has become required for all pubs and restaurants.

Beer prices will increase by 10%.

Beer and the IMFL prices are expected to rise by around 10%.
Beer sales quotas are open, and the IMFL quota for PML sales has been increased by three percent.
There are now 232 groupings instead of 172.
Reintroduction of liquor vending auctions
Mechanisms in place to prevent imported liquor from being counterfeited

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