Most of us living in Delhi-NCR have often sourced our alcohol from bootleggers in Gurgaon, because the Haryana rate cards seems to be a tad more lenient than those in the Capital. But all that may soon change as the Haryana state government has announced a hike in excise duty and value-added tax (VAT) on the sale of liquor. This means a 15% spike in liquor prices in the state, starting April 1.
No, this is not an April Fools prank.
As announced by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in its excise policy for 2017-18 on Sunday, the surge in taxes will increase the rates of country liquor, Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), foreign liquor and low alcohol content beverages. Presenting the new policy, excise and taxation minister Capt. Abhimanyu said that the state government has “rationalized” the rates of excise duty and VAT. “I will give details of additional revenue in my budget tomorrow,” he said.
Per Proof Litre
To give you a better idea, here are some numbers. The existing excise duty on country liquor (CL) has been raised from INR 20 per proof litre to INR 28. Meanwhile in the IMFL category, the duty has gone up from INR 40 to INR 70 per proof litre with four slabs.
Additionally, the duty has been increased and three additional slabs have been created. The new rates of excise duty range from INR 45 to INR 200 per proof litre with seven slabs, depending upon the ex-distillery price. The rates of excise duty on beer and wine have also seen a substantial increase.
Maximum Retail Price
As per a report by Hindustan Times, the minimum retail prices (MRPs) of country liquor, IMFL, and low alcohol content beverages have also been amplified. The MRP of brands like Royal Stag and McDowell No 1 has been increased to INR 450 from INR 380 for a quart (760ml bottle), while regular brands such as Signature Whisky and Blenders Pride to INR 600 from INR 500 and quart (760ml), and deluxe brands including Antiquity Blue and McDowell’s Single Malt have crawled up to INR850 from INR 750, with premium brands such as Black Dog 8 Years and Teachers touching INR 1,500 from INR 1,300. Beer prices are also projecting a rise from next month.
This new policy will affect bars serving alcohol too as the annual license fee of bars has been increased from INR 12.5 lakh to INR 15 lakh in Gurgaon, INR 10 lakh to INR 12 lakh in Faridabad. These two cities make for a third of Haryana’s excise collections.
The policy was announced after approval from chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.