Punjab slashes liquor quota, brings in new licence policy

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Government today slashed liquor quota in the range of 20-33 per cent even as the State targets a higher revenue of Rs 6,000 crore in the next fiscal, up by 16 per cent over estimated revenue in 2017-18.

The liquor prices are expected to drop by Rs 40-70 per bottle of country liquor, IMFL and beer as the financial burden on account of paying fee and other levies will drop because of introduction of the Minimum Guaranteed system, which will be launched for the first time in the State, officials said.

The Punjab cabinet today approved the new excise policy for the year 2018-19, with an aim of breaking the monopoly in the liquor business and keeping liquor prices under control, by slashing the Group size from Rs 40 crore to Rs 5 crore, thus increasing the number of Groups from the current 84 to around 700 in the next fiscal.

Allotment is proposed to be done through draw of lots to bring greater transparency under the new excise policy, which has been drawn out in consultation with various stakeholders and is focused on breaking the monopoly in the business, an official spokesman said. (AGENCIES)