HYDERABAD: “Low investment and high returns, stable business.” This is not a chain-market advertisement but the sales pitch of excise department, so that more liquor merchants apply wine shops licences.
This is because of the tepid response: The department has received about 11,000 applications till Monday for the 2,216 shops on offer. Previously, the number would be around 41,000 on the last day for filing applications. The last day for filing of applications this year is Wednesday.
To increase demand, excise officials have started sending messages to liquor merchants asking them to apply for wine shops.
With the government itself taking over liquor business in AP, TS officials were expecting that businessmen from AP would come to Telan-gana state. Anticipating high demand, the excise department had printed around one lakh application forms.
Incidentally, the TS Budget has projected Rs 10,901 crore as excise revenue for 2019-2020, which is higher than the previous year.
The excise department message reads: “Last date 16.10.2019; don’t miss stable business, low investment and high returns. 1 page application, no EMD (earnest money deposit). Tax payable in 8 easy instalments. Bank Guarantee is reduced”.
In fact, the government should be campaigning against consumption of liquor. That is why the excise wing is named “prohibition and excise department”. But the officials are themselves encouraging liquor trade by sending messages to businessmen for opening wine shops, merchants said.
The government had increased the non-returnable application fee for a shop from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. This may have turned a dampener....