Rajasthan Government announces new Excise policy for liquor
The state government of Rajasthan recently announced a new advisory policy for the years 2022–23 and 2023–24 and has given several exemptions. The state has abolished the COVID surcharge on all kinds of excise products, resulting in a decrease in the price of beer in Rajasthan. It includes Ex-Distillery Price and Ex-Brewery Price (EBP) of beer, country liquor, and Rajasthan-made liquors. There is a substantial increase in EBP and a reduction in bottling fees.
For the first time, the Rajasthan government has introduced different duty slabs for mild and strong beers which finally has reduced the price to consumer. Thus, promoting responsible drinking in the state. Consumers in India, now a days, tend to make wise choices as the country moves toward healthier and more responsible drinking habits. According to a study, more than 40% of respondents aged 25–34 is interested in switching to low- or no-alcohol variants of the drink.
Commenting on the new policy Mr. Rishi Chawla, Vice President Corporate Affairs at Carlsberg India said, “The new excise policy announced by the Rajasthan government is very progressive. The government has understood the financial pressure on industry. With the new incentive scheme in play, the brewers will try to utilize the maximum capacity, which will eventually support the entire economic ecosystem of the ancillary industries like raw material providers, packaging material providers, transporters, and the hotel industry, eventually leading to increased tourism and the creation of new jobs for the bourgeoning youth population of the state. All of this, in an overview, is a win-win for manufacturers, consumers, and the state exchequer. "
The state government also intends to put a track and trace system for QR coded beer bottles into effect starting April 1, 2022. The government is looking for an end-to-end solution for the implementation of a QR code-based Track & Trace system for all liquor supplies across the state. It is envisaged to bring in software applications that can track and trace liquor throughout the supply chain in the state by recognizing the QR codes affixed on liquor supplies.
Shobhan Roy, Director General of AIBA (All India Brewer’s Association) commented “It is a great policy by the Rajasthan government, with liberal steps being taken towards shaping it. However, we believe that, for the time being, the beer industry should be exempt from the implementation of track and trace. This is because, in the case of beer, it requires an investment, and since beer is served chilled, the moisture interferes with the proper working of scanners. This proposal for beer may please be deferred, considering the several technical challenges that the industry will face and how the new system may impact the efficiency of production during the peak season of beer. Of course, there are other matters, and I am sure the department will address them in due course. The industry is happy with the beginning and consultative approach taken.”