Uttarakhand Cabinet today gave its nod to the new excise policy imposing a cess of 2 per cent on liquor and setting a target of earning a revenue of Rs 2,310 crore from liquor trade during the ongoing financial year. "As per the new excise policy approved by the cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, 2 per cent cess will be imposed on liquor. The income generated by the imposition of the cess will be spent over social security and road safety," State Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik told reporters after the cabinet meeting. The Cabinet also set a target of earning a revenue of Rs 2,310 crore from liquor trade this year, he said. All districts will have to make their own contribution to the annual revenue target set by the state government, he said adding that the new excise policy will come into force from June 1. New distilleries will be set up in the state under the policy and the location of liquor retail shops will have to be decided by the District Magistrates concerned. According to the new excise policy, liquor shops in the hills will be open from 12 pm to 6 pm only. However, the rule will not be applicable to some districts including Dehradun, Haridwar, Udhamsingh Nagar and Nainital districts. The new policy also makes it mandatory for the liquor shops to have a computerised billing system and they will be penalised if found guilty of overcharging customers, the minister said.
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