Spirited Assam budget for branded country liquor | india | Hindustan Times
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Spirited Assam budget for branded country liquor

Want to get high on branded country liquor? Visit Assam in the 2012-13 fiscal.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2012 23:29 IST
HT Correspondent

Want to get high on branded country liquor? Visit Assam in the 2012-13 fiscal.

There’s good news too, if you swear by IMFL – alcohol will get cheaper along with honey with a VAT cut from 13.5% to 5%.

In a bid to plug revenue leakage – and deaths owing to adulteration – the Tarun Gogoi government has sought a mandatory branding of hooch or country liquor. Bottles and pouches containing the spirits will have to sport a hologram.

This was one of many ‘innovative’ measures Gogoi announced while presenting Rs 293.44crore deficit budget in the assembly here on Monday. Among the others is providing free footwear for primary schoolchildren.

“We have taken due care to check the unhealthy use of alcohol and prevent the sale of illicit liquor. To plug leakage of revenue a system of affixing holograms on liquor containers has been introduced,” Gogoi said.

The move to brand country liquor – the illicit stuff kills or paralyses an average 50 persons in Assam – follows an auction system introduced last year for settlement of country spirit shops. The budget also makes alcohol and honey cheaper with proposed reduction of VAT from 13.5% to 5%.

Gogoi further proposed a slew of populist schemes in the education sector. While Rs 50crore has been earmarked to start a new scholarship scheme for elementary students, primary school students are in for free footwear. Students up to class 8 in state-run school have been receiving free uniform since 2009.

“I have decided to provide footwear to our primary school students in the next financial year along with uniforms, for which I have earmarked Rs 22crore,” the chief minister said.

Gogoi also announced a proposal to set up a digital photo and film archive to be named after Bhupen Hazarika estimated to cost Rs 1.5crore.