Excise dept doubles permit fee for alcohol

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LAHORE: The permit fee for alcohol has been increased from Rs 600 to Rs 1,200 after a notification was issued by the Excise Department for 2017-2018. The Minorities Islahi Association Punjab has called the increase unfair to permit holders because not only has the tax been doubled, but also the price of alcohol has been increased twice within a month.

In a letter to the department, the association argued that alcohol is available in the country, keeping in view the rights of non-Muslim minorities; therefore it was inconceivable that heavy taxes were being levied on its procurement. The letter also contains grievances with respect to Dolphin Force, CCPO Special Force and Mujahid Force, which have been formed to curb terrorism, but in fact are busy nabbing legally obtained alcohol.

Instances have also been mentioned of police raiding houses late night and seizing alcohol in Rawalpindi.

The Minorities Islahi Association Punjab requested the Excise Department to resolve the issues of permit holders and maintain the rates issued in 2017, without increasing the permit fee.