Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 27:
The Odisha government announced its Excise Policy for 2017-18 today.
In order to boost its revenue from liquor sales, the state government according to the new policy will allow 3-star hotels and above/shopping malls/ airports to open model premium liquor shops to sell premium Indian Made Foreign Liquor (except beer) (IMFL)/Foreign Made Foreign Liquor (FMFL)/wine.
The policy, however, specifies that such shops must have a minimum carpet area of 500 sq ft for separate display and vending of these liquors and must be located in malls without any residential apartments/quarters.
Moreover, in order to facilitate innovative variety of low strength liquor, the state government has decided to grant ‘ON’ license for retail sale of freshly crafted ‘draught beer’ to be produced and consumed locally within the premises of these microbreweries in six cities of the state-Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur.
However, the new excise policy has provisions to dissuade bootlegging. Hotels and clubs will be given licenses to open additional bars.
However, the new policy has provisions to strictly prohibit location, of liquor shops within 500 m from the highways as per Supreme Court guidelines.
With a view to increase, local production and employment generation, the government has decided to levy higher import duty on beer and IMFL.
Moreover, as per the new policy liquor shops will be required to display price list and provide cash memo to customers. Further, vendors cannot charge customers more than the maximum retail price (MRP) mentioned on the packs.