If you’re a fan of booze then the news that the “Himachal Pradesh cabinet led by Mr. Sukhvinder Singh Suku has given the nod for a new excise policy” might be relevant to you. Must be wondering how? Well, let us brief you. With this policy has come a new category of liquor called “premium liquor,” which will not only present more choices in front of the consumers but also will work as a booster for the earnings of the state? The ambit of this category will cover all sorts of made-in-India and foreign liquor that are priced above Rs. 200 per bottle.
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This move can prove to be a blessing for the economy of Himachal Pradesh as the production and sale of liquor grow eventually with time, not only will it generate more revenues for the state in the form of license fees & tax but will also help in attracting people from other states & promoting the state tourism. The extra revenue generated by this can be used for infrastructure development and improving education, and healthcare facilities. As the new liquor would be made by fermentation and distillation of fruits, it also has huge potential to contribute towards the growth of the horticulture industry in the state and can create opportunities for the farmers to raise their income level.
The best part about this new excise policy is that it has been framed with keeping in mind the inputs from all the relevant stakeholders, including the government authorities, customers, wholesale companies, retailers, bottling plants, distilleries, hotels, restaurants, and bars.
Now, let us walk you through the major highlights of this new excise policy of Himachal Pradesh for the year 2023-2024.
Key Highlights of Himachal Pradesh New Excise Policy 2023-2024
- An Initiative to Streamline the Existing Liquor Licensing Process
With this new excise policy, the Himachal Pradesh government has taken a major step towards simplifying the existing “too complicated to understand” license process as now the hotels and restaurants located in the state will be able to apply for liquor licenses online as well at their convenience.
At the same time, it’s also true that this new excise policy may cause liquor to cost more in Himachal Pradesh as the state government plans to add an extra 5% to the current excise duty applicable to liquor, but here the fact that liquor of high-quality will be made available seems to compensate for it.
- Real-Time Monitoring System For Liquor
The new excise policy also envisages keeping real-time tracking of each liquor bottle with state-of-the-art technology. With this, the government authorities will now monitor the receipts, issues, and bottling of liquor alongside its distribution. The policy also makes it mandatory for liquor production units and wholesalers that are L-1 (wholesale vend of IMFL) and L-13 (wholesale vend of country liquor) to install integrated IP-based CCTV along with WIFI in their premises.
- Creating A Responsible Drinking Culture
Every year we see “excessive drinking” being the reason behind thousands of deaths, especially when it comes to road accidents. And, to create a responsible drinking culture all over the state of Himachal Pradesh, the new excise policy has introduced some measures. These include essential training programs for the people working at bars and restaurants on responsible serving. The government will also put a “no drinking and driving” policy in place to ensure the safety of both the residents and visitors from careless mistakes of people under the influence of alcohol.
- More Varieties of Beer & Wine Available to Consumers
With the new excise policy, the state government has introduced high-key draught beer in retail vends with a 5-liter capacity. This will directly benefit the people who like beer as they would have more options to choose from now. Bottling of important wine has been approved by the government under this new policy, which will directly make sure that the people of Himachal Pradesh can easily get access to the best-selling variety of wine brands.
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