Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Customers buying liquor will now have to pay Rs 5-15 more per bottle after the price was hiked by the Odisha State Beverages Corporation Limited (OSBC) following the approval of new excise policy by the State Government on April 01. A letter in this regard has been sent by OSBC to the State Government and District Excise Officers.

There has been an increase of Rs 5 to Rs 10 per bottle of beer sourced from other states, but the prices of beer produced in Odisha remains unchanged. Similarly, there has been an increase of Rs 5 to Rs 10 in price of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and Rs 15 in price of liquor imported from outside the country. However, the prices will differ as per brand and company of the liquor.

Talking to OTV Managing Director of OSBC, Dwijraj Kar, said, "As the government has hiked import duty on the liquor bottles coming from outside the state, the impact has been seen on their price and MRP. As duty on IMFL has been increased by the government, the MRP has gone up."

The State Government has set a target to collect Rs 3,600 crore revenue from liquor sales in the current fiscal year. The target for last fiscal year was Rs 3,300 crore, but only Rs 2,786 crore was collected.

Joint Secretary of Odisha Liquor Sellers Association, Prabhat Kishore Das said, "Liquor consumption might decline due to price rise. Moreover, higher revenue generation is also the target. The price may be hiked further as the State Government revises it twice a year."

It may be mentioned that in a bid to escape the ban on liquor shops along State Highways, as ordered by the Supreme Court, the State Government denotified the State Highways passing through cities and towns as 'Urban Roads.'

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