The State Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur gave its approval to excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 which envisages collection of Rs. 2,131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crore higher than the financial year 2021-22. This implies an overall growth of 14% in state excise revenues. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend. The objective is to gain adequate enhancement in government revenue and curbing smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by reduction in its  price. The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fee has been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers and they won’t be tempted towards purchase of illicit liquor and evasion of duty will also be checked. In new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. This step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of existing price. In this year’s policy, to provide more funds for the welfare of “Gau Vansh”, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Rs.1/- from existing Rs.1.50 to Rs. 2.50.  In view of the reduction in Covid-19 cases in the State, Covid cess has been reduced by 50% of the existing. The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels. To provide better facility to the tourists visiting tribal areas and also provide relief to the hotel entrepreneurs, the rates of annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably. In order to monitor the manufacturing, operations of liquor, its dispatch to wholesalers and subsequent sale to retailers, it has been made mandatory for all the above stakeholders to install CCTV cameras at their establishments.  Keeping in view recent irregularities detected by the department in liquor bottling plants, wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.