Delhi government proposes ‘similar taxes’ for small beer producers

Delhi government proposes 'similar taxes' for small beer producers

The government has extended the implementation of Excise policy 2021 till May 31, 2022. The GoM has recommended that the beer manufactured by the microbreweries in small quantities should be promoted. The rate of Excise duty for beer manufactured by microbreweries may be fixed at Rs 30 per bulk litre of the installed capacity — comparable to Chandigarh — the group recommended in the meeting held last month.

A present for beer aficionados could be on the way, as a government ministers’ group is pushing for easier beer selling by microbreweries in the city. A group of ministers (GoM) has proposed that soft liquor, including microbrewery beers, be promoted by making taxes equivalent to those in cities like Chandigarh. Officials said on Wednesday that if the modifications are made, they will be incorporated into the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2022-23, which is set to take effect next month. The administration is expected to announce the policy for 2022-23 soon, which will be an updated version of the current Excise policy that was imposed on November 17 of last year.

”This will help the microbreweries to tide over the lean season issue. It will also help in promoting microbreweries the product of which is soft liquor,” said an official document quoting the GoM meeting. It also recommended fixing the license fee at Rs 2.5 lakh for installed capacity of 500 litre per day, and retaining the Rs 5 lakh license fee for up to 1,000 litre.

The MRP of beer produced by the microbrewery may be decided by the Excise Commissioner which should be same for take away and retail sale through L-1 distributor, it said. Promotion of wine as soft liquor was another move discussed in the meeting. The GoM said that the L-18 license (serving of Indian and Foreign beer and wine in independent restaurants) may be reinstated specifically for beer and wine with a license fee equal to 50 per cent of L-17 license category.

Under the Excise Policy, 2021, licenses for retail liquor sale were allotted to highest bidders for 850 vends divided into 32 zones in the city. Considering that the zonal retail licenses allotted as per Excise policy 2021 were operational for a span of mere six months, the GoM also advocated for its renewal. The retail liquor vends started operation from November 17, 2021. However, the business was affected due to the third wave of COVID in January. It was felt that the retail licensees should be given a reasonable time to stabilise sales and cover their investments.

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