Khammam: The hike of the non-refundable fee to apply for liquor licences in the new Excise policy has led to discussion among the liquor traders.
Though traders are opposing the hike of deposit amount, they are unwilling to leave the business.
The government enhanced the non-refundable fee to apply for the liquor licences from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The deposit amount will not be returned if the applicants failed to get the licences in the lottery.
This became a necessity after aspirants in Khammam submitted eight to 16 applications in different names, hoping to get a licence through the lottery system.
C. Sridhar, who runs a liquor shop in Khammam, said that the hike in non-refundable fee will have little impact on the number of applications.
The applicant has to forego Rs 1 lakh if he does not get selected in the lottery system. “I submitted eight applications last year, but did not get a licence. I took a shop on lease from a person who got the shop via the lottery system,” he said.
The number of shops has been increased in Khammam district from 68 to 83 and from 18 to 23 in Khammam Municipal Corporation limits.
The last date for submitting applications is September 19 and the draw of lots will be conducted by the district collector on September 22.
The licence fee for a liquor shop in KMC limits including permit room licence is Rs 55 lakh per year and the licence will be valid for two years. It is believed that the immense interest in the liquor business is generated by the 50 per cent to 55 per cent profit margins, per year.
A person who got a liquor shop in a lottery after paying Rs 55 lakh in license fee and Rs 1 lakh as deposit, can earn Rs 30 lakh in a year in profit after deducting all expenses.
“There is no other business in the market that generates such huge profits. Due to this, people are scrambling to get liquor shop licences,” said P. Ravi, who plans to file one application for the liquor shop licence.