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Delhi Excise extends Annual License

In what could perhaps be an unprecedented step, the Delhi government has decided to extend the annual excise license for 15 days to give time for importers to continue making the year-end shipments and apply for the fresh license in the meantime, to avoid the usual annual disruption of business for a month or more.

There have been strong rumours of excise duty being reduced from the MRP to the wholesale-price based policy (price to include only the landing cost plus import duty ) May romantics have been even expecting a roll-back to the earlier Rs. 150 a bottle. Thus , the purchase and pick up at various levels in the supply chain had been subdued  towards the last part of March with no one willing to keep an unavoidable high level of inventory  at higher excise duty. Thus the move will help the importers to move forward to fill the immediate user requirement.

‘We were expecting an announcement in the reduction of duties by around 3rd or 4th of April,’ says Debjit Dasgupta of Ace Beveragez, who is the Hony Secretary of the recently formed importers association. On being reminded that the department does offer the facility of fresh application every March, he confessed that one could theoretically apply for the license during the second or third week of March. ‘But the paperwork for renewal is so cumbersome and time consuming that at that time we are too busy executing the year-end orders to worry about the formalities, with the result that there is usually no work or shipments in April,’ he confided.

Due to the Commonwealth Games being held in Delhi, rumours have been doing the rounds that the duties will be reduced, a hope which will be kept alive for a couple of more weeks as no favourable announcements have been made during the last few weeks, as was expected..

This may be an insignificant step for many out-of-Delhi importers, but it does indicate the willingness of the Delhi government to share the pain of the very people who bring in crores worth of revenues for the department. The news report obviously has no relevance for the Delhi based importers as they are all aware of the announcement and are busy utilizing the extra time in the game of football-where they are the football!

 

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