Chandigarh: Bars in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Panchkula will soon remain open till 1 am under Haryana's new excise policy which also makes beer and wine cheaper and reduces the licence fees for hotels and restaurants serving liquor. The bars in these cities now remain open only till midnight. They can extend their closing time by another two hours after 1 am by paying an additional annual licence fee of Rs 10 lakh per hour. The excise policy for 2020-21 was unveiled Thursday 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 per cent, it will now be Rs 40 per BL instead of Rs 50. A new category of "super mild" beer has been created. It will attract a duty of Rs 35 per BL, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, who holds the excise portfolio, said. But country-made liquor will cost more. The excise duty on one category has been increased from Rs 44 to Rs 60 per proof litre. The duty on hard liquor, categorised 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. Getting a temporary one-day licence for serving liquor at events will be easier. The form can now be filled online. The policy has put a hold on setting up new distillation and bottling plants in the state till the capacity utilization of the existing units reaches 90 per cent. Chautala said the licence fee for bars in four-star hotels has been reduced from Rs 38 lakh to Rs 22.5 lakh per year. For three-star hotels, it is down from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, except those in Gurgaon (Rs 20 lakh) and Faridabad (Rs 17 lakh). The licence fee for bars in non-star rated restaurants has been reduced from Rs 12 lakh to Rs 10 lakh in all districts, except in Gurgaon and Faridabad. The number of liquor vends in the state will increase from 2,500 to 2,600.
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