State needs 1,725 new liquor stores, estimates Excise dept

CL-2 licences for retail sale last issued two decades ago in 1992

State needs 1,725 new liquor stores, estimates Excise dept

 Based on the 2011 census, the Excise department has estimated that 1,725 new liquor retail shops (CL-2) are required in the State. The new licences would generate more revenue for the State exchequer and will also help curb the illegal sale of liquor.

Previously, the CL-2 estimation was done based on the norms of the Excise Act, which permits one liquor shop for every 15,000 persons in rural areas and one shop for every 7,500 persons in urban areas. The government had granted more arrack shops in rural areas before 2007 (sale of arrack was banned that year). As there were more arrack shops the number of CL-2 lincences in rural areas was confined.

The State issued 3,935 licences (CL-2) in 1992 based on the population data released in 1991. Though it has been two-and-half decades since then, the government has not issued any new licences in this category or for bar and restaurants (CL-9).

On the other hand, the government has been issuing new licences in the categories of CL-4 (clubs), CL-6A (star hotels), CL-7 (hotels and boarding houses), CL-7D (hotels and boardings houses owned by SC and ST), CL-8 (military canteen stores) and CL-8A (bonded warehouse). It had put a ban on CL-2 and CL-9.

A total of 9,871 liquor licences in various categories bring the State a good revenue. Increase in sales every year and additional tax impositions are also helping the government double liquor revenue.

An official from the department told Deccan Herald that issuing fresh licences would fetch the State exchequer more revenue, as the CL-2 shops have to pay the licence fee every year. The move will also help stop shops from charging extra as they face no competition.
The department has submitted its estimation report and had also sent a proposal to the government on three different occasions to issue new licences. But it has not yet made a decision in this regard, said Excise Commissioner Umashankar R S.

The department has fixed the licence fee for each category based on various parameters. For instance a CL-2 licence holder has to pay Rs 4.6 lakh every year if it is located in a corporation city with a population of more than 20 lakh, otherwise it costs Rs 3.64 lakh per year.

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