Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 5:
At a time when various civil society organisations and political outfits are strengthening their voices in favour of a total prohibition, Odisha Government has announced a slew of measures to attract further investment to boost liquor manufacturing and to encourage consumption in the state.
Odisha Government’s Excise Policy 2016-17 — that came in force starting April 1 — not only slashes deposit fee to attract investors into the state and set up new breweries and distilleries, but also reigns in beer process in order to encourage consumption.
“Odisha Government had collected Rs 2557 crores revenue during financial year 2015-16. This year, we have a target to collect Rs 2800 crore. In order to achieve this, we have hiked license fee by 20%. Besides, to encourage investment in the state, we have slashed deposit fee for new units from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 20 lakh,” said Excise Minister Damodar Rout.
The Government has also reduced the price of beer by Rs 10 to Rs 15 to encourage consumption after sales fell by over 40% during April 2015-January 2016 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. The import fee for bulk import of beer has been slashed by Rs 5 per litre. Further, the manufacturing tax on beer has also been slashed.
Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) products, however, became dearer with a surge in price between Rs 10 and Rs 30 for different makers after the new excise policy was put into practice.
Also, the license renewal fees for shops have been increased along with tax on the manufacture of alcohol products. While the license renewal price would cost 20 percent more for country liquor and foreign liquor shops, it would get 12 percent dearer for mahuwa shops.
Besides, the new policy lowers the Minimum Guarantee Quota (MGQ) for IMFL off-shops and country spirit (CS) shops for 2016-17.