The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to hand over its liquor business and retail vends in 18 districts of western UP to the Ponty Chadha group and that too for the next two years instead of one, as has been the norm till now.
The Ponty Chadha group controls the entire liquor trade in UP and also operates retail vends in a joint venture with UP Co-operative Sugar Mills Federation.
According to the sources, the state cabinet is all set to clear the state's liquor policy for two years, from 2014-15 to 15-16.
The state government has fixed the revenue target at R14,500 crore for 2014-15 and R17,500 crore for 2015-16. UP's excise receipts targets for 2012-13 were R9,782.86 crore and till December 2013, it achieved R7,905.70 crore.
The government under Mayawati had announced the excise policy for two years in one go for 2011-12 and 12-13. But that was done as the model code of conduct for the 2012 assembly elections was to be in force during the time when a new excise policy should have been announced in February 2012 and hence, in order to maintain revenue flow, the government had taken that stand.
The UP is planning to play down its 2-year policy move by stating that “earlier too, UP had fixed the excise policy for two years in one go and the same has also been done by the Rajasthan for 2012-13 and 2013-14 and by the Haryana government for 2013-14 and 2014 -15 respectively.”