Gurgaon, Faridabad to remain open till 1 am
Bars in Gurgaon, Faridabad, and Panchkula will soon remain open till 1 am is under Haryana’s new excise policy. It also makes beer and wine cheaper and reduces license fees for hotels and restaurants that are serving liquor.
The bars in these cities now remain open till midnight. They can extend their closing time by another two hours after 1 am i.e. till 3 am by paying an extra annual licence fee of Rs 10 lakh per hour.
The excise policy for 2020-21 was unveiled on 20th February after a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The new rules kick in on April 1. The excise duty on beer across categories has been slashed by Rs 10 per bulk litre (BL). For example, for brands with an alcohol content of between 3.5 and 5.5 percent, it will now be Rs 40 per BL instead of Rs 50.
Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, who is also the state’s excise and taxation minister, said on Thursday changes in the policy would help the government earn more revenue, especially in NCR as the excise department was losing out because people drinking late were shifting to Delhi. Though the national capital has 10 pm as routine closing time for liquor shops and 11 pm for bars, it grants different categories of licences that allow some bars to stay open till 1am and some to operate round-the-clock. Haryana’s regular window in the new policy will, therefore an advantage since all businesses will be able to operate till 1 am, without needing a special licence.
The duty on hard liquor, categorized as Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), remains the same. Chautala pegged the revenue from excise duty at over Rs 7,500 crore in 2020-21 against the expected revenue of Rs 6,600-6,700 crore for the current financial year.