An official permit is important to sell alcoholic beverages hence required liquor license. States need to get liquor licenses without it; no one is allowed to sell liquor. That is the reason why restaurants and businesses in liquor require getting a liquor license. The Punjab Excise Department provides liquor license and the renewal of the liquor license after its expiration. Recently, the Chief Minister of Punjab has accepted a recommendation of the Excise Department, aligned to the advice of the Finance Department and to maintain the period of contract of liquor vends till 31st March 2021. It has also been approved the Finance Department’s recommendation the revenues, both for a license fee and MGR, for the period from 1st April to 6th May 2020, may also be adjusted or re-determined accordingly by the Excise Department.
Changes in the Excise Policy 2020
- After approving the excise policy 2020-21, the department has invited applications for the renewal of groups or zones of 2019-2020 for the year 2020-2021 through a public notice. The minimum guaranteed revenue of each group or zone will be fixed 8% higher than last year.
- Licensees will have to submit an application along with the renewal fee at Rs 10 Lakhs and payment details made to date. Also, an undertaking that they would deposit 12% excess revenue of the minimum guaranteed revenue fixed for the group/zone for the year 2019-20 by March 2020.
- The licensees have to submit an affidavit and deposit fixed license fee of Rs 600crore during 2019-20, which has been increased to Rs 625 crore, while the additional fixed license fee of Rs 120 crore during 2019-20 has also increased to Rs 385 crore.
- The excise duty at retail has been increased nominally, Rs 5 for (PML) Punjab Medium Liquor, Rs 4 for the (IMFL) Indian-made foreign liquor, and Rs 2 for beer. At the wholesale stage, there is no increase in the excise duty rates in PML and IMFL and only a 5% increase in case of beer.
- VAT paid on imported beer will be adjusted in additional fixed license fees and an additional 12% revenue requirement for renewal of licenses for next year.
How to Get a Liquor License in Punjab?
Punjab Liquor License is a permission granted to a businessman or a trader to alcoholic beverages to its bonafide members for the consumption of liquor in the legal premises. It is illegal for any citizen to dispense, manufacture, or sell intoxicating alcohol without the valid Punjab Liquor License. The Government of Punjab has established rules and regulations under the Punjab Liquor License Rules, 1932, to regulate the consumption and the sales of liquor. It is mandatory to acquire a liquor license for restaurants, hotels, clubs, etc.
Punjab Liquor License is necessary to obtain under the provisions of Punjab Liquor License Rules. Therefore this Act moderates the import, distribution, manufacture, and sale of liquor, including spirits, Liquor, Tari, Pachawar, Beer, IMF, and all liquid, which consists of alcohol. Beer, including ale, stout, porter, and all other fermented Liquors made from malt.
Importance of the Punjab Liquor License
Some of the significance of having the Punjab Liquor License is explained as Liquor License is that used to mitigate the additional sale of liquor. The drug licenses are provided to monitor the mechanism.
- It is illegal for any person to distribute or manufacture or sell intoxicating liquor without having a liquor license issued by the Government of Punjab.
- There is a requirement for regulation in the selling of alcohol and also to maintain the health and peace in the State. There is also a requirement to monitor the consumption of liquor, and hence a liquor license is necessary.
The following types of the applicant can apply for a liquor license in Punjab:
- An individual
- A body incorporated under the Companies Act
- Societies registered under the Co-operative Societies Act
- A partnership or firm
Read our article: How much does Liquor License cost in India?
Classes of Punjab Liquor License
According to the Punjab Liquor License Rules, 1932, the Punjab Liquor License may be classified in the following categories:
The fees payable in respect of Punjab liquor license under these rules are of the following kind:
The Fees for Grant and Renewal of the Punjab liquor license mentioned below. It will be charged at the rate indicated:
- Grant of License [for the retail sale of liquor] in form L-2 – Rs. 5,000 (One time)
- Renewal of License [for the retail sale of liquor] in Form L-2 – Rs. 1, 50,000 p.a.
Exemption from Payment of Fee
A Punjab liquor license for the reduction of country spirit is exempted from payment in form L-16.
Fixed and Assessed Fees
Punjab Liquor License in Form L-17
A license for vend of denatured spirit will be granted on fixed fees, in form L-17 in addition to the fee assessed according to sale. The rates of fixed fees are given here:
- 5,000 per annum for a license for 1 year to possess a quantity of five hundred gallons at one time
- 50,000 per annum for a license for 1 year to possess quantity exceeding five hundred gallons at one time
The assessment must be based on the following scale:
- Twenty-two rupees per imperial gallon
- Forty-four rupees per dozen quartz bottles, in possession of the license
A license in form L17 for the retail vend of rectified spirit denatured with 2% kerosene for use as motor fuel must be granted on payment of a fee of rupees five.
Punjab Liquor License in Form L-17 –B
A license in form L17-B for vend of Methyl Alcohol/Methanol must be granted on fixed fees in addition to the fee assessed according to the sale. The following are the rate of fixed fees:
3000 p.a. needs to be paid for a liquor license for 1 year to possess a quantity of 500 gallons at one time.
The assessment must be based on the following scale:
- Twenty-two rupees per imperial gallons
- Twenty-two rupees per dozen bottles, in possession of the licensee.
The following Punjab liquor licenses are granted on assessed fees:
- Wholesale and retail vend of the foreign liquor to the public only
- Retail of foreign liquor in bars attached to a restaurant
- Retail of foreign liquor in restaurants
- Retail of foreign liquor to an expatriated employee
- Retail of foreign liquor in hotels or bungalow
- Retail of foreign liquor in the railway dining cars
- Retail of foreign liquor in the railway refreshment rooms
- Retail of foreign liquor at the bar attached permanently to a theatre or cinema or another such place of entertainment
The following liquor licenses are granted on fee fixed by auction; the Excise Commissioner grants any license on payment of a fixed fee:
- A liquor license for the retail vend of country spirit for consumption on any of the premises
- A liquor license for the retail vend of country spirit for consumption off the premises
- A liquor license for the retail vend of country spirit on special occasions
- A license for the manufacture and retail vend of country fermented liquor
Punjab Liquor License Renewal Procedure
- Punjab Liquor License requires to be renewed not less than 1 month before the earliest day on which the liquor license gets expired. The applicant has to apply for the bar license renewal in the prescribed format to the concerned authority.
- Non-Renewal of a liquor license within the time limit will result in loss of eligibility for insurance coverage and also appropriate legal action taken by Punjab Government, Excise Department, or any other Department body.
A Liquor License is granted by the Punjab excise department to those who sell and distribute alcohol and other alcoholic beverages. Every state government keeps a check on the sale and consumption of alcohol sold within its territory. The government of Punjab has established rules and regulations under the Punjab Liquor License Rules, 1932, for regulation on the consumption and sales of liquor.
Read our article: Procedure for Obtaining Liquor License in India