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Liquor body seeks removal of rules promoting imports in Delhi excise policy for 2023-24

Seeking removal of rules that allegedly discriminate against Indian-made products and promote imports in the forthcoming excise policy for 2023-24, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) on 15 January wrote to the Delhi Government.

The CIABC also suggested measures for the incorporation in the forthcoming excise policy for the next financial year. It urged for improvement in norms of ease of doing business, simplification of new product launch process and digitization of all operational processes.

“These are regulatory anomalies from the past when India was perceived to be a low-quality producer. For example, the license fee for an imported whisky is 50,000 per year, but if the same product is made in India, it will become minimum 25 lakh. The excise policy of November 2021 had addressed these issues but with its withdrawal, the matter is back on table,” the CIABC said.

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The body said their suggestions would cover steps required to modernise trade, lift customer experience, improve ease of doing business and increase Government tax revenues.

“Every year we approach state Governments with suggestions that would make the alcohol regulation work for the benefit of all stakeholders. Delhi, being the national capital has its own special needs and we tailor our recommendations to best serve that purpose,” Director General of CIABC, Vinod Giri said.

Apart from this, the CIABC also recommended opening of private retail shops across the city, reopening of airport shops, reducing drinking age to 21 and bringing retail timing and number of dry days in sync with the neighbouring states.

Besides suggestions for the upcoming excise policy, the CIABC through its letter, also sought resolution to its request for permission to sell stocks left over at the wholesale due to frequent change in the excise policy during 2021-22 and 2022-23 and clearance of old overdue payments to companies.

With PTI inputs.

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