Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Breweries and distilleries in Bihar may soon shift their base to Odisha. On a day Bihar became a 'dry' state, the Odisha government has announced to encourage setting up new units in the State by slashing ‘deposit fee’ from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

Officials said the Odisha government’s excise policy for 2016-17 will seek to attract investors in the liquor manufacturing sector with an aim to export the product from the State. Besides, it also envisages attracting investments for setting up of new brewery, distillery and micro-brewery in the State.

“From this year, we have hiked license fee by 20%. Besides, to encourage investment in the State, we have slashed deposit fee for new units from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 20 lakh,” Excise minister Damodar Rout said.

“Our revenue collection target for the year is Rs 2800 crore,” the minister stated. Official figures show the State government had collected Rs 2557 crores in revenue in 2015-16.

To ensure that the volume of beer sale increases in the State, its price has been reduced by amounts varying from Rs 10 to Rs 20. The sale of beer in the State had dipped by over 40% during April 2015-January 2016 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year due to the opposition of the beer supplier to the provisions of the Excise Policy 2015-16.

On the contrary, the price tag for Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) products has been revised upwards for amounts ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 40, sources added.

In the new policy, relief has been given to IMFL off-shops and country spirit (CS) shops by lowering the MGQ (minimum guarantee quota) for 2016-17. This would minimise the shortfall of off-take from Odisha State Beverages Corporation (OSBC) depots, said the sources