Chandigarh, get ready to pay more for liquor, petrol

The administration says the additional cess on is aimed at generating revenue amid the lockdown
Chandigarh, India April 14, 2020: Police checking vehicles during the nationwide 2 nd phase of lockdown against Corona Virus at Chandigarh and Zirakpur Border in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Photo by Sanjeev Sharma/HT
Chandigarh, India April 14, 2020: Police checking vehicles during the nationwide 2 nd phase of lockdown against Corona Virus at Chandigarh and Zirakpur Border in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Photo by Sanjeev Sharma/HT
Published on May 05, 2020 11:26 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

Get ready to shell out more money for liquor and fuel in the union territory of Chandigarh.

The UT administration is actively considering levying additional cess on liquor, petrol and diesel for revenue generation. A decision in this regard was taken during the daily review meeting held under Punjab governor and UT administrator VP Singh Badnore on Tuesday.

A senior UT officer said, “Revenue generation has been hit hard amid the epidemic. We are mulling over imposing additional cess on liquor, diesel and petrol to generate revenue. The finance department has been asked to work out details for imposing this additional cess.”

Notably, petrol in Chandigarh costs 65.82 per litre while diesel costs 59.30 per litre.

Confirming the decision, Ajoy Kumar Sinha, UT’s finance secretary, said that keeping in view the reduced sources of revenue, some additional cess could be considered. The decision on the rate of cess is also under consideration.

To generate revenue, the Delhi government has imposed a 70 percent “special corona fee” on sale of liquor besides raising the value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. Haryana, too, has hiked VAT on fuel.

Meanwhile, there was marked fall in people queuing up outside liquor vends on Tuesday from Monday night itself. Long winding queues could be seen outside liquor shops on Monday, which opened after 41 days when the administration eased Covid-19 restrictions from Monday.

The serpentine queues at most vends, at some places more than a 100 people at a time on Monday, trickled down to smaller queues with a handful of people on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the Chandigarh administration had allowed shops selling non-essential items, including liquor, to open. The vends are to open according to the odd-even formula, with odd numbered stores to open on odd dates, and even numbered stores on even days. Liquor vends on roads dividing sectors, as well as those in the six containment zones, are to remain closed.

Of the 75 licensed vends, 30 were open on Tuesday. Shopkeepers had to ensure that not more than five persons be present at a time in the shop, with timings fixed from 10 am to 6 pm.

The liquor shops had closed after curfew was imposed in the city on March 24 to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the city.

Keeping in view the heavy rush of customers at book shops, the UT administration decided to exempt them from the odd-even stipulation and allow them to open on all days. This will help reduce congestion at the stores.

The UT administrator has also directed that discount and concession available to consumers for timely payment of property tax, water bills etc. should not be denied and last date of payment be extended accordingly.

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