Prices of imported alcohol and beer will increase in Uttar Pradesh starting on April 1

Prices of imported alcohol and beer will increase in Uttar Pradesh starting on April 1

The introduction of the new tax policy would result in a 10% price hike for imported alcoholic beverages and beer in Uttar Pradesh starting on April 1, according to an official statement released on Sunday. The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved the new excise policy for 2023–24 on Saturday.

The statement claims that license costs for foreign alcoholic beverages, beer, cannabis retail stores, and model shops have increased by 10%.

In the new excise policy, the government has also raised the cost of operating the cafeteria service at model stores from the previous Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

The government has also raised the licensing cost and security for bonded warehouse licenses (BWFL-2A, 2B, 2C) of foreign beer, wine, and liquor in accordance with the new policy. The master warehouse's registration and renewal costs have also gone up.

According to Devesh Jaiswal of the UP Liquor Sellers' Welfare Association, "The increase in licence cost and that of operating canteen facilities coupled with warehouse licences would ultimately lead to rise in liquor prices."

He said, "It will be too early to speculate on how much the prices would rise.

The new liquor policy has also increased the minimum guarantee quota (MGQ) for country-made liquor by 10%. By implementing it, the country's liquor retailers would have to buy 64.15 crore bulk liters of alcohol with a volume alcohol content (ABV) intensity of 36% rather than 58.32 crore bulk liters in 2022–2023.

Despite pressure from the alcohol lobby to expand the sale hours from the present 10 am to 10 pm to 11 pm, the government has not changed the timings of sales.

The government has included a clause, nevertheless, that extends the selling period on "special events." The new excise policy states that "on exceptional occasions, the period of sale might be expanded with the prior authorization of the government." There is still no definition for these "unique events."

According to the policy, a separate category has been created for the Gautam Budh Nagar authority region, the municipal corporations of Lucknow and Ghaziabad within 5 km of each other, whether urban or rural, and has doubled the license cost for hotel, restaurant, and club bar licenses.