Pilgrim City, a money spinner for excise department

Pilgrim City, a money spinner for excise department
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The Pilgrim city became a money spinner for the excise department as it fetched Rs.21 crore last year from Tirupati itself which is more than a quarter in the revenue from excise district. Under the new bar policy of the government for the period 2017-2022, the department has issued notification for six new bars in addition to the existing 34 in the two excise districts of Chittoor and Tirupati,

Tirupati: The Pilgrim city became a money spinner for the excise department as it fetched Rs.21 crore last year from Tirupati itself which is more than a quarter in the revenue from excise district. Under the new bar policy of the government for the period 2017-2022, the department has issued notification for six new bars in addition to the existing 34 in the two excise districts of Chittoor and Tirupati, which may hit the sanctity of the City very badly.

Presently, Tirupati excise district has 20 bars while Chittoor excise district is having 14. With 16 bars Tirupati occupies first place in the list followed by Chittoor with seven. The new government bar policy allotted one bar for every 30000 population. Accordingly, Tirupati urban will get two more bars along with Nagari. Puttur and Punganur will get one each from July 1.

Already, majority of shops in Tirupati have established unauthorised bar like set-ups adjacent to their shops by serving liquor there which is against the rules much to the apathy of the excise officials. This time all the 44 shops were allotted already in Tirupati Municipal Corporation limits out of the 224 shops in Tirupati excise district. The excise department accrued Rs.25.35 lakh as application fee and Rs.5.07 crores as Registration fee from the 44 shops.

The applications will be received till June 29 evening. If more than one person submits application bars will be allotted through draw of lots. The existing licensees of bars also should renew them immediately. The application fees for the new bars is Rs.2 lakh, license fee Rs.2 lakh, Registration fees Rs.18 lakh and EMD Rs.3 lakh and each year the license fee will be increased by 10 per cent for five years.

As the government reduced the license fees by one fourth, which is paid by the licensee after the allotment, astounding response was received for the licenses. The government on the other hand gets whopping increase in its revenue with the introduction of registration fees at a minimum Rs.1 lakh and application fees which are non refundable.

The shops in Municipal Corporation limits have drawn 15,25,994 cartons of liquor during the last financial among which the beer was 9,37,267 cartons. The total value of this was Rs.627.30 crores. The liquor is sold at retail shops adding a minimum of 12 per cent profits on an average which takes the figure to much higher level.

The Assistant Superintendent of Prohibition & Excise, KP Gopal told The Hans, that all the license holders now has to follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court of India. The licenses are not given based on the area. They can open their shops in the city limits according to their choice within the framework of the guidelines. Shops are not allowed within 500 meters of the highway, he clarified.

By V Pradeep Kumar

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