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Steep hike in licence fee of bars

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The State government on Saturday effected a steep hike in the annual licence fee of bars which is expected to fetch the treasury an additional income of Rs.50 crore to Rs.60 crore. The government earned Rs.400 crore as licence fee from the 1,400 bars across the State last year. The new rates will come into effect from July 1 when the excise year begins.

Against only two slabs for collection of fee in 2010-2011, the government has made it four slabs for the coming year. The new slabs on the basis of population are: Rs.25 lakh for municipalities with population less than 50,000; Rs.35 lakh for municipalities and municipal corporations with population between 50,000 and 5 lakh; Rs.38 lakh for municipal corporations with population between 5 lakh and 20 lakh; Rs.31 lakh for municipal corporations with population over 20 lakh.

Sources said the last slab was designed keeping in view the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation where there were more number of bars but the turnover was less. That was precisely the reason why the fee in Hyderabad was less than in other cities where the number of bars was less but their turnover high. They added that against the earlier policy to fix the fee only on the basis of population, but the government decided to consider both population and turnover this time.

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