The new excise policy was approved by the Punjab state cabinet chaired by chief minister Bhagwant Mann for the current financial year. With this new policy, the revenue generation can be pegged at ₹9,647.85 crores, an increase of 40% from the last financial year.
The policy will be applicable for nine months, from July 2022 to March 2023. The policy was delayed due to the new government formation. Previously, the state government had extended the 2021-2022 excise policy for three months with a nominal increase in revenue generation.
The state government will earn excise duty on all kinds of liquor, except PML, to be charged at the rate of 1% of the wholesale price.
As per the new policy, the liquor prices have been reduced by 40-50% while no quota has been fixed for the sale of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and beer. It means vend owners can sell as much liquor as they can.
The reduction in liquor prices will bring the state on a par with that of neighboring states and will curb smuggling inside the state. Historically, liquor has been cheaper in Chandigarh and Haryana.
The policy has reduced the number of groups or clusters of liquor vends from about 750 in the last financial year to 177, with the idea to increase control over the liquor trade and tap optimum revenue potential in the sector. The base rate of each group has been fixed at ₹30 crores.