Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

MP Govt Decides To Slash Booze Rates, Retail Liquor At Airports And Select Supermarkets

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also cleared the Madhya Pradesh Heritage (Traditional) Liquor Policy.

Under the new excise policy, opening of microbreweries will be allowed in Bhopal and Indore cities.
Under the new excise policy, opening of microbreweries will be allowed in Bhopal and Indore cities. Representational Image

In the new Excise Policy for the next Financial Year, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to allow the sale of liquor at all airports in the state and select supermarkets in four big cities, and issue home bar licenses to those earning Rs one crore or more annually.

In the Excise Policy 2022-23, approved by the state Cabinet on Tuesday, the government also decided to slash retail prices of liquor by 20 per cent in a bid to "make them practical".

Under the new Excise Policy, counters selling liquor can be opened at all the airports in MP while licenses for (opening) such outlets can now be issued in select supermarkets in Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior at a fixed fee, an official statement said. Now, a home bar license will be issued at an annual fee of Rs 50,000 to applicants with an annual individual income of Rs one crore or more, it said.

Under the upcoming policy, bar licenses can be issued at concessional rates to temporary units being operated by the Eco-Tourism Board and the Tourism Development Corporation at tourist places.

The state government also decided to simplify the liquor import process. Opening of microbreweries will be allowed in Bhopal and Indore cities subject to No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to be issued by local civic bodies and the electricity department and after securing environmental clearance.

Officials said that all the liquor outlets will now be composite shops to curb the sale of illegal alcohol. Composite shops are the ones from where traders can sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), Country Made liquor and beer together.

District-level high power committees that include the collector and MLAs will be empowered to change locations of liquor shops, if needed, under the new excise policy. Besides, wine prepared from grapes by farmers in MP will be made duty free, the officials said.

The new excise policy also has a provision of tetra-packing liquor and scanning the QR code to check the authenticity of the product. The Madhya Pradesh cabinet also gave its nod to the new Heritage Liquor policy, announced by the chief minister last November, which will enable tribals to brew liquor from 'mahua' (Madhuca) flowers in a traditional way and sell it.

This policy will be later presented before a cabinet sub-committee which was formed to discuss the heritage liquor project, the officials said.

With inputs from PTI.