Himachal to impose Milk cess on Liquor

Himachal Pradesh being a hospitality state given emphasis to target more revenue from the Liquor policy, state registered hike of 38 to 40 percent in open auctions of liquor vending as around 2050 vends already achieved schedule target of Rs 1800 Crore. Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu who holds the portfolio of finance informed the state assembly recently that previous government opted the policy to extend auction of these liquor vends by hiking vending by 10 percent. Congress government decided to go for open vending as Government is getting hike of 60 to 70 pc in some vending auction in some district which would help state to earns four to five times from vending alone by making the auction transparent and equitable distribution. He also informed in press conference that till March 17 Government have auction the vends up to 38 percent which is expected more revenue to Government empty coffer. According to Excise and Taxation Department till Saturday government auction got hike of 40 pc as Tourist places and state capital district attracting very high bidding . Sukhu stated that Kinnuar District recorded 66 pc hike in vending bidding. Liquor vends were auctioned at the highest price in Shimla, while in Kinnaur the highest bids were auctioned at 66 per cent. In Shimla District  Liquor vends were sold in the district for 251.15 crores.  There was an increase of 44.91% over the previous year.  Last year, liquor contracts were sold in Shimla for Rs 1732.91 crore. He said that it  first time, all the 2 thousand vends were auctioned simultaneously. This is the first time that all 2 thousand contracts have been auctioned in Himachal. The excise and taxation department are free to conduct auction process free of encumbrance as for the first time in the state vends are being auctioned without any litigation. Before this all the contracts couldn’t be auctioned together every time as department did not get do much bidders for the contracts and therefore the process always remained stuck in litigation, State excise department also trying to generate Rs 2000 crores from the auction of barriers and Liquor vends . Himachal’s toll barriers have been auctioned in a bid of Rs 132 crore and more than 2000 contracts have been auctioned at a cost of Rs 1815 crore. On the other hand, the department is expected to earn Rs 101 crore annually by charging a milk cess of Rs 10 per bottle of liquor.

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