New Delhi: The excise department has decided to offer Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) at a highly subsidized rate to all para-military forces included in the list of Central Armed Police Forces, like it is offered at present for the military.
The list include all border guarding forces, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Sashastra Seema Bal units that have either set up or have plans to set up their units in the state. At present, the subsidized IMFL is offered to only Army, Navy and Air Force personnel, and specifically for one BSF and CRPF units in Thiruvananthapuram.
IMFL is offered at subsidised rate for the Army by charging only 50% of sales tax in comparison to the normal rate on regular sales and levying an excise duty at a flat rate of Rs 21 per proof litre. In the case of regular sales, the excise duty is charged in the range from Rs 33 to Rs 66 per proof litre. Also, while bar hotels are charged Rs 24 lakh per annum for foreign liquor licence, Army units pay up only Rs 1,000 for FL-8 licence per annum.
The Army holds a BW-1 (bonded warehouse licence) for operating its central stores department based in Kochi from where IMFL is distributed to its various canteens across the state. With the new decision, all the other paramilitary forces will have to have a similar main unit, from where each force can distribute the required quantity to its various units where canteen facility is set up. The taxes department has already made amendments to the foreign liquor (storage in bond) rules, which is at present under the scrutiny of the law department.
Even though various paramilitary forces had raised this demand with the state government, the government had given the permission only to the BSF and the CRPF, that too specifically for one unit each in the capital. Once the new rule is notified, all the units can make use of the facility.