Coming April is going to be full of the joys of spring for the elite in Chandigarh. According to the new excise policy for the next fiscal year 2020-21, five-star hotels in Chandigarh will serve alcohol round the clock. Earlier, the bars and clubs operating in restaurants and hotels were permitted to operate only till 1 am.
The real motive behind the policy is to promote tourism and these hotels have been allowed to provide minibars in rooms as of now, liquor was served only in the bar area.
“The rule should be the same for all hotels, whether big or small,” said Arvinder Pal Singh, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association, Chandigarh. “We had requested the administration to extend the time for serving liquor, but the policy favours only five-star hotels — JW Marriott, Hyatt Regency, The Lalit, Taj, Park Plaza, and Mountview. If any hotel wants to serve liquor 24×7, it should be allowed to do so after paying an extra fee.”
Further, the excise policy has made the following announcements:
- Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) has been increased by nearly 10 percent except on high-end brands.
- With the imposition of cow cess in the new policy, the consumer will have to pay Rs 5 to Rs 10 per bottle extra from April 1.
- Under the new excise policy, the number of licensing units has been increased from 92 to 95.
- To promote the sale of liquor through departmental stores, no change has been made in the license fee of departmental stores. This is ₹20 lakh and there is no change in quota which is 3,000 Pl.
- The excise duty of microbrewery has been kept the same at ₹30 per BL (bottled) to shift the consumers from hard liquor to soft liquor.
Despite the hike, the prices of liquor in Chandigarh will still be cheaper in comparison to Punjab and Haryana.
The excise policy for the year 2020-21 would help to earn revenue of about ₹680 crores in comparison with ₹617 crores estimated to be earned in the current fiscal year 2019-20.