There is a real bad news for liquor lovers. The State government issued a GR on Februray 10 and has almost doubled the licence fee. This may be bad for liquor businessmen but more particularly liquor lovers will now have to shell out more for the demon drink. Nagpur district has 11 liquor producers, 28 wholesalers and 800 retailers. Last year liquor licence fee collected was Rs 28 crore and this year the figure is expected to reach Rs 40 crore.
The power rests with the Nagpur district Excise Commissioner, Vardhe. The state govt has right to raise excise taking into the financial condition of the state and the excise duty levied in the neighbouring states. Every year excise rates are decided in the month of February by promulgating a Govt Resolution (GR). In the month of March the collection starts.
In last two years only licence fee collected from liquor vendors was raised. The practice every year is to raise licence fee by 10%. But this year licence fee of all the classes, producers, wholesalers and retailers is raised by 50% Naturally the liquor vendors will charge the consumers more. Ultimately it is the state govt that stands to gain.
The director of Golden Wines, Dewani said, excise duty was not raised in last two years but this year it has been increased to this extent. He said actual excise duty is dependent on the population. The cities with 10, 20 and 30 lakhs or more are charged different licence fee. Taking into consideration this aspect the raise in the fee is nearly 70%. He said all the liquor vendors should come together to put their appeal before the state govt. But whatever may happen the consumers should not suffer.