The Uttar Pradesh government has reported an excise revenue collection of Rs 23,918 crore during the 2018-19 financial year, up more than 38 per cent from Rs 17,320 crore during 2017-18.
After the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in March 2017, the UP excise revenue has been on a high growth trajectory posting growths of 21 per cent and 38 per cent during the two years it has been in office.
The upswing in UP excise revenue under the new dispensation has been attributed to a new policy aimed at curbing liquor smuggling and weeding out well entrenched liquor cartels.
Addressing the media in Lucknow on the occasion of completing two years in office on March 19, Adityanath had indicated that his government had adhered to fiscal prudence, which resulted in robust Goods and Services Tax (GST) and excise collections, while keeping the fiscal deficit under the mandated three per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
|2012-13||Rs 9,782 cr||Rs 1,643||20.0%|
|2.||2013-14||Rs 11,643 cr||Rs 1,861||19.0%|
|3.||2014-15||Rs 13,482 cr||Rs 1,839||15.0%|
|4.||2015-16||Rs 14,083 cr||Rs 601||4.5%|
|5.||2016-17||Rs 14,273 cr||Rs 190||1.4%|
|6.||2017-18||Rs 17,320 cr||Rs 3,047||21.0%|
|7.||2018-19||Rs 23,918 cr||Rs 6,598||38.0%|
Source: UP Excise Department
In January 2018, the Adityanath government had announced a new excise policy to take on liquor cartels and big traders enjoying hegemony in the organised liquor retail. UP health minister and government spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh had then said the new excise policy would hit at “crony capitalism” and monopoly in liquor trade. He has also spoken of introducing transparency.
Under the new policy, the state had dissolved the special Meerut excise zone created under Mayawati's rule (2007-12), which consisted of Meerut, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Bareilly divisions. It was allegedly carved out to benefit late liquor baron Ponty Chadha’s Wave Group, which enjoyed a virtual monopoly on UP’s retail liquor trade under the erstwhile regime. Wave Group entities were awarded both wholesale and retail contracts in Meerut zone.
Besides, the bidding for liquor shops was mandated to be done online. Currently, there are about 18,000 liquor shops in UP. To check illegal liquor trade, which has robbed the exchequer of revenue, the new policy introduced a ‘trace and track’ system for keeping a real-time tab of goods being transported. The government has also intensified vigil along the interstate borders to curb liquor smuggling.