Uttar Pradesh cabinet  has  approved the new excise policy for 2018-2019 that will be implemented uniformly in all the districts. The new policy provides for district wise whole sale licences instead of zonal licences and scrapping of the privileged Meerut special zone comprising districts of west Uttar Pradesh.

With the new excise policy getting a nod from the Yogi Adityanath government, liquor shop timings might come down by two hours in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, shop timings are from 11 am to 11 pm.

The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday. Government sources said. the new excise policy for 2018-19 is all set to break the monopoly of liquor barons by scrapping special zone system which was started by the Mayawati government.

“A special zone was created which includes Moradabad, Meerut and Bareilly divisions into one and was benefiting just one trader. Now, this system is scrapped by our government,” Siddharth Nath Singh, state government spokesperson said.

“The liquor shops will now be auctioned online and one person will be allowed to get a licence of only two shops in one district,” Singh said.

In an attempt to keep a check on liquor-smuggling from other states, prices of liquor bottles might be slashed. However, the decision on price revision will be taken after consultation.

The state government has set excise revenue target Rs 4,673 crore which is more than the previous achieved Rs 15,700 crore, 29% more than the last year’s target.