The excise policy for the coming financial year, will give expats living and working in the area a big reason to cheer.
The 3, 700 acre industrial township of Manesar is home to hundreds of foreign nationals, especially the Japanese, who are employed in the multinational automobile and manufacturing companies. However, these expats have not had much to cheer, thanks to the excise policy of the Haryana Government that allows only establishments with three-star ratings to apply for liquor licenses. Since only one hotel in Manesar qualifies for this mandate, the foreign nationals living there have been forced to travel all the way to Gurgaon or New Delhi for a drink. “Moreover there are no pubs or bars,” informed an excise official.
The new excise policy that comes into effect from April 1 will allow all establishments, including standalone pubs and bars, to apply for liquor licences in this industrial model township. Needless to say this news comes as a major relief for the expats. Interestingly, the new excise policy was influenced by a Japanese hotelier and restaurateur, Nakajima San.
After struggling to get a liquor licence for his hotels for many years, San who is the chairman of Misaki Hotel in Manesar and Habitare in Sector 14, Gurgaon, decided to reason with the government and explain the problems faced by the Japanese working community in the area.
“I had requested the Haryana Government to redesign the policy. There is no other Japanese restaurant or hotel in Manesar and hence I had reasoned with the government that it makes perfect sense for my restaurant to have a liquor license. Japanese people are essentially accustomed to drinking freshly brewed beer or wine along with their meals. Hence I had applied only for a beer and wine licence. However, even that was denied in the absence of a provision under the existing policy,” said San.
So why had the government not relented to grant him a micro-brewery license? Speaking to City Spidey, HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, Gurgaon (West), said, “We can grant the micro-brewery licence only to those who already have a bar liquor licence. There is no provision to apply only for a micro-brewery license.” Incidentally, the liquor licence fee is Rs 15 lakh. On the other hand a licence for micro-brewery beer costs Rs 6 lakh a year.
“Japanese companies of Manesar, want the liquor licence to be granted to restaurants of the area. Considering their request, the government has granted permission for issuing the same,” additional chief secretary (excise and taxation) Sanjeev Kaushal stated while unveiling Haryana’s new excise policy for 2018-19 earlier this week.
Commenting on this development, San said, “I appreciate the support and understanding of the state government. The new excise policy will benefit the employees of over 40 Japanese firms located in Manesar,” Besides the hotels, San owns two other restaurants; one in Manesar and the other in South Point Mall.