You will have to pay more for booze | india | Hindustan Times
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You will have to pay more for booze

Finance minister Dilip Walse-Patil’s maiden budget is a bad news for tipplers. In his budget for the year 2009-10, the minister has proposed steep hike in the taxes on liquor.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2009 01:17 IST
HT Political Bureau

Finance minister Dilip Walse-Patil’s maiden budget is a bad news for tipplers.

In his budget for the year 2009-10, the minister has proposed steep hike in the taxes on liquor.

At the same time, he has reduced the Value Added Tax on restaurants by three per cent and if the restaurant owners pass the benefit on to the customers, eating out could be slightly cheaper.

In his tax proposals, Walse-Patil proposed to increase sales tax on liquor by five per cent, taking it to 25 per cent. Further, the Excise Levy will be hiked by Rs 20 on Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) like whisky and rum. The cost of IMFL would go up by Rs 10 to Rs 25 and by at least Rs 10 on beer.

To make the matters worse, the new formula to decide maximum retail price of liquor will lead to further hike in prices.

“The cost in the MRP will differ from brand to brand. For instance, the buyers will have to pay Rs 75 more for a bottle of liquor that costs Rs 500,”said Iqbal Chahel, excise commissioner.

Liquor sellers are irked.

“The budget proposals will result in steep hike in liquor prices. It will cripple our trade,” said Sham Matai, Vice President of Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association. “We will meet soon to discuss what to do next.”

Restaurateurs said the reduction in VAT is unlikely to bring down the prices immediately.

Chandrahas Shetty, advisor Indian Hotel & Restaurant Association said: “It is welcome relief but still we wanted it to be reduced to 4 per cent like other states.”