Delhi cheers as Haryana hikes foreign liquor rates

Proposed price raise will push booze sale in capital

A proposed increase in the prices of imported liquor in Haryana from April 1 has got the Delhi excise department sit up and take notice as costly imported booze in the neighbouring state may mean better sales and higher excise  revenue in the capital.

The price of foreign liquor in Delhi is already high due to which buyers were tempted to tank up in the neighbouring state, said an official, adding that the situation may change in the next fiscal year.

“Now, with the proposed hike in Haryana’s prices of foreign liquor, there would be very little difference between the prices in Delhi and that state,” said an excise department official. 

During the current financial year, capital’s residents were at a disadvantage as the price of foreign liquor in Delhi was much more than in Haryana.

“Pubs and vends in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonipat were attracting customers and business at the cost of Delhi outlets,” said an official.

“Foreign alcohol lovers may now not want to travel to the neighbouring states to save money as the prices in Delhi and Haryana would become almost the same from April 1,” he said.

Last week, the Haryana government declared that it will impose increased excise duty on imported liquor from April, increasing the price of imported liquor by as much as three times the current rate.

The Delhi government while introducing a new excise policy last July raised prices of beer, along with other liquor variants.

Past advantage
Costly beer in Delhi had ended the advantage that the city enjoyed over neighbouring towns in Uttar Pradesh – from where a large number of customers came into Delhi to buyer cheaper beer.

“Our excise collections were partially affected in this fiscal year as our price advantage in beer over Uttar Pradesh was lost,” said an official.

Despite this setback, the excise department is inching closer to the  target for the current financial year which is around Rs 3,550 crore.

By the first week of March, the revenue collected by the department stood at Rs 3,094 crore.

Excise Commissioner Neeraj Semwal expressed the confidence of achieving the revenue target by month-end.

A longer spell of cold weather this year has turned out to be a challenge for beer sales in the city.

“Warm weather shoots up sale of beer. With the increase in mercury by the month-end, beer sales would shoot up, taking our revenue collections closer to the annual  target,” said an excise department official.

Liquor sales started showing an upswing ahead of Holi and touched a high for winter months in the first week of March.

The excise tax collection between March 1-4 was Rs 60 crore, a hike of Rs 20 crore over the same period the previous year.

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