45 new vends to be opened in Jammu, 6 in Kashmir
MGR, Earnest Money, MRB increased; Export Duty exempted
JAMMU, Feb 22: In order to generate more revenue and bring transparency in the allotment of liquor vends, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has incorporated several new conditions in the Excise Policy for the year 2022-23, which will come into force with effect from April 1.
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Among the key changes brought in the new Excise Policy pertain to Minimum Guaranteed Revenue (MGR), Earnest Money, Minimum Reserved Bid (MRB), e-auction through secured portal and submission of property certificate as important eligibility criteria.
Addressing press conference, Additional Chief Secretary Finance, Atal Dulloo flanked by Excise Commissioner K S Chib, Commissioner Sales Tax Showkat Aijaz Bhat and Director General Codes S L Pandita, said, “we have incorporated several new conditions in the Excise Policy for the year 2022-23, which will remain in force from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023”, adding “these conditions are aimed at generating more revenue and bring further transparency in the allotment of liquor vends”.
He informed that Earnest Money Deposit has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh while as Minimum Guaranteed Revenue increased by 10%. Similarly, Minimum Reserved Bid has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.
Disclosing that there will be e-auction of JKEL2, the Additional Chief Secretary said that e-auction portal would be governed by J&K Bank as a 3rd party nodal agency, adding “Excise Department will allot 51 new vends in un-served/under-served areas in addition to 228 vends as already notified vide SO No.114 of 2021”. Among 51 new vends, 45 will be opened in different parts of Jammu division and six in Kashmir division.
“In order to obviate the possibility of cartelization and monopolistic practices, only one location will be allotted to a bidder for which his/her bid is the highest”, read the Excise Policy. Further, to bring more transparency in the allotment of vends, it has been made clear in the eligibility criteria that the bidder should have immovable property in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir worth up to 100 per cent of the bid value and shall produce a property certificate to this effect from the competent Revenue Authority.
As per the policy, the bidder should be a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and should not be convicted of any non-bailable offence by a criminal court and should not be defaulter of State Taxes Department under the J&K General Sales Tax Act, 1962, Central Sales Tax Act and J&K Excise Act.
The Additional Chief Secretary informed that during 2020-21, Government generated Excise Revenue to the tune of Rs 1350 crore and the same is expected to increase to Rs 1500 crore during the current financial year, which will come to an end on March 31. “We are targeting to increase the Excise Revenue to Rs 1600 crore during the financial year 2022-23 for which new Excise Policy has been notified”, he added.
“The Export Duty has been exempted and there shall be no bottling fee on the liquor/beer meant for export purpose”, Dulloo said, adding “to encourage transition from high to low alcohol content beverages, the department shall issue micro-brewery licenses at the locations permitted by the Excise Commissioner and the procedure for grant of license shall be notified by the Excise Commissioner separately”.
As per the policy, the non-payment of duties on the due date will lead to suspension of sale by the concerned Range ETO. Besides, the licensee shall also be liable to pay 2% penalties per month as provided in the J&K Excise Act, from the date next following the day on which any payment recoverable from him becomes due to the Government until the date on which such payment is actually made or recovered whatever may be the reason of lapse of time.
“If the liquor trade in the Union Territory is shut down due to Government mandated/instituted lockdowns owing to COVID-19 pandemic surge, Excise Department shall consider proportionate relaxation from the obligations limited to MGR and MGQ of liquor traders to the extent it is payable for the period of closure of trade with the prior approval of Administrative Department”, the Policy said.
The objectives of the Excise Policy are to bring about greater social consciousness and awareness about the harmful effects of consumption of liquor and alcoholic beverages and drug abuse, to ensure transition from high to low alcoholic content beverages, to rationalize the number of taxes/duties and other levies to optimize revenues for common good, to check bootlegging/ smuggling of liquor and narcotic drugs in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir etc.