Sisodia hails new excise policy; says Delhi govt set to earn Rs 10,000 crore revenue
The Delhi government is estimated to earn a whopping Rs 10,000 crore from excise revenue under its new policy that aims to revolutionise earnings and consumer experience in the city, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday.Under the bidding of 850 liquor vends divided into 32 zones, the government has earned around Rs 8,911 crore against the base reserve licence fee of Rs 7,039 crore, officials said.The AAP-led Delhi government has decided not to renew licence of around 260 liquor vends run by private operators after September 30.
The Delhi government is estimated to earn a whopping Rs 10,000 crore from excise revenue under its new policy that aims to ''revolutionise'' earnings and consumer experience in the city, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday.
Under the bidding of 850 liquor vends divided into 32 zones, the government has earned around Rs 8,911 crore against the base reserve licence fee of Rs 7,039 crore, officials said.
The AAP-led Delhi government has decided not to renew licence of around 260 liquor vends run by private operators after September 30. However, remaining liquor shops run by government agencies will continue retail sale till November 16, they said.
The liquor vends allotted to private firms through open tendering will start working from November 17.
"The bidding was very fair. We divided Delhi into 32 zones and received roughly 250 bids. The highest bid in each zone won in a very transparent manner. Adding all the bids, the government will get a revenue of approximately Rs 10,000 crore which is a matter of relief for us,'' Sisodia said in a press briefing.
When asked about closure of private liquor vends in the city and its impact on sale and revenue, he said, ''We are winding up this system now. There will be a transition period of nearly one month after which the new regime will be under implementation. The government shops will remain open.'' All the 32 zones were put in block in June. In the initial bidding, the excise department had earned a revenue of Rs 5,300 crore through the bidding for 20 zones in August.
Tenders for remaining 12 zones were freshly invited due to technical reasons and opened recently, officials said.
''Under the new excise policy, the practice to increase revenue has received outstanding success. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the policy on April 15 this year.
"Under the new excise policy, the biggest change was that we converted excise duty and value-added tax (VAT) which is usually evaded, into licence fees. Till now the license fee was very nominal, around Rs 8-10 lakh, and then there were 250-300 per cent excise fees and VAT. Because of having higher rates, it had an incentive for evasion,'' Sisodia, who is also the Delhi finance minister, said.
The low license fee that used to be Rs 8-10 lakh on average rose to be around Rs 6.5-7 crore per shop. It was further increased by 10 per cent and then bids were invited, he said.
''The government will receive Rs 3,500 crore extra revenue in the next 12 months,'' he noted.
The minister added that the new policy will put a curb on tax evasion besides checking illegal sale of liquor through an estimated 2,000 establishments.
The excise department caught 7 lakh bottles of illicit liquor in one year. A total of 1,864 FIRs were lodged and 1,000 vehicles were confiscated, he said.
Under the new policy, each zone will have nearly 27 liquor vends that will provide consumers walk in facility and choice of preferred brand.
Sisodia said the new policy will help consumers who are currently forced to buy liquor bottles from small cramped vends. Each liquor shop now will be air conditioned and spread over 500 square feet so that the consumers may go inside and buy liquor.
"The new excise policy has provisions that no shop's window will be facing the road. The counter will have to be put within the premises of the shop. The size of the shop should be a minimum of 500 sq feet. The shopkeeper will have to install CCTV cameras and ensure that there is no liquor consumption in the open," he underlined.
With bidding of liquor vends to private players, the Delhi government also moved out of the retail distribution of liquor which was one of the stated goals of its new excise policy. So, far majority of the 849 liquor stores in the city were run by its three agencies.
In the previous excise regime, a total of Rs 6,900 crore was collected in the fiscal year 2019-2020 after collection of excise from Indian and foreign liquor, VAT collected from wholesale and retail sales, HCR excise, and retail licensing fees, officials said.
The biggest grosser in the bidding was zone 31 comprising the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment area, that earned the highest price of Rs 315 crore, against a reserve price of Rs 217 crore. Zone 32 or airport zone earned Rs 235 crore against a reserve price of Rs 105 crore.
Under the new policy, in addition to the Rs 8,900 crore earned from the bidding of retail vends, the additional projected revenue after collecting excise, VAT, import fees, CSDN, HCR licenses, wholesale licenses, and HCR VAT, will be approximately Rs 650 crore, taking the total projected revenue close to Rs 10,000 crore, they added.
PTI VIT SRY
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