Excise dept suspects tightens hold on breweries

The excise duty from beer totalled Rs 2,151 crore in 2017-18. The target for the current fiscal is Rs 2,230 crore. DH FILE PHOTO

The Excise department has tightened its hold over breweries in the state, following audit objections that a section of them may not be accounting for all the beer they produce.

There was suspicion that the yield shown by some breweries was not in accordance with the raw materials used and the department was losing out on revenue.

The department has now come out with rules that make it mandatory for breweries to provide a minimum yield of beer based on the quantum of raw materials. The department has also brought microbreweries under the rules.

A senior officer said the new rules are in place and the department is now keeping a watch on the yield of beer being shown by breweries.

According to official sources, an expert committee comprising senior officials of the department has come out with the new standards. The raw materials which will be considered, to calculate the yield of beer, include malt and supplements like rice flakes, corn flakes and ragi. Non-fermentable supplements used for manufacture of beer like fruit peels and herbs will not be considered to calculate the yield of the brew. 

It is well known that Karnataka, especially Bengaluru, is a beer guzzler.

The excise duty collected by the department on beer totalled Rs 2,151 crore during 2017-18. The target set for excise revenue from beer for the current fiscal is Rs 2,230 crore.

The department has also tightened rules to prevent wineries from passing fortified wine (where the alcohol strength of wine is increased by adding spirit) as fruit wine (no spirit is added).

The new rules specify how fortified wine should be prepared by wineries and also provides power to the jurisdictional excise officer to monitor the stocks.

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Excise dept suspects tightens hold on breweries

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