FY23 Chandigarh Excise Policy; Discover 22 key changes for liqueurs

The Chandigarh government has approved a new excise policy for the fiscal year 2022-23 in the state. The new policy aims to balance the aspirations of consumers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and the government. Major developments have been announced for retail businesses, clubs, restaurants, hotels and bars, from extended operating time, additional license fees to penalty and base quota.

Here are the main highlights of the excise policy for 2022-2023:

1. To limit parasitic alcohols, tamper-evident seals are made mandatory in bottles of Country Liquor.

2. The government is introducing a 65 degree proof of country liquor in addition to the existing 50 degree and 60 degree proof. This is considered to increase choice for consumers and make a higher quality country liquor available.

3. Only 50% of Country Liquor’s base quota will be divided equally between bottling plants, and 50% of the base quota will remain open. In addition, additional quota will also be kept open. This will increase retailers’ choice of sourcing according to their choice of bottling plant and brand.

4. Overall, the baseline quota has been reasonably increased by 13.4% in line with stakeholder consultation.

5. Imported Ready to Drink (RTD) has also been licensed for sale in UT Chandigarh.

6. Allocation of alcohol retail sales will be done through the electronic tendering system for greater transparency.

7. The EMD deposit has been reduced for better auction participation.

8. An online service for issuing permits/passes and applying for various excise licenses has been set up to facilitate the task of stakeholders.

9. The government is making computerized invoicing mandatory and should be introduced by October 1, 2022. A penalty of 5,000 is also introduced in the event of non-delivery of receipt.

10. In addition, the possibility of extending closing hours by 2 hours (ie until 3 am) is now granted to restaurants, bars and hotels upon payment of an additional license fee.

11. 24-hour alcohol service is also permitted at 3-star and 4-star hotels upon payment of an additional license fee.

12. Notably, the Covid discount (i.e. pro rata inversion of license fees) as granted last year will continue for all retail, bars, restaurants, hotels , clubs, etc

13. In the event of non-compliance with the minimum retail price by alcohol sellers, the government has introduced a severe sanction. The new policy states that sales must be sealed for 3 days upon the first violation itself.

14. The Track and Trace system is expected to be unveiled during this policy year to combat the illegal sale of alcohol.

15. A fine of 50,000 was introduced for the sale of expired alcohol by retailers.

16. In addition, the policy directs the introduction of CCTV cameras in all retail outlets by May 1, 2022.

17. In accordance with the e-vehicle policy of the Chandigarh administration, the government is introducing the e-vehicle tax which will be levied per bottle, varying from 2 to 40.

18. Excise duties have been increased by approximately 5.5%.

19. The minimum retail price has also been increased reasonably within the range of 5% to 10% taking into account input costs and taxes.

20. To promote low alcohol beverages, duties and license fees have not been increased on beer, wine, RTD, etc.

21. Under the policy, in view of hotel and restaurant associations’ request and to provide support, their license fees remained unchanged.

22. In order to ensure the availability of a greater variety and brands, the registration fees for the label/brand have remained the same.

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About Cassondra Durden

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