‘Special corona fee’: Delhi govt to charge 70% tax on liquor from today

Senior government officials said that the lockdown since March 25 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cost the Delhi government around Rs 645 crore in revenue from the sale of alcohol
People stand in a queue to buy alcohol after authorities allowed opening of wines shops with certain restrictions during ongoing Covid-19 nationwide lockdown at Krishna Nagar in East Delhi.(PTI Photo)
People stand in a queue to buy alcohol after authorities allowed opening of wines shops with certain restrictions during ongoing Covid-19 nationwide lockdown at Krishna Nagar in East Delhi.(PTI Photo)
Updated on May 05, 2020 06:54 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Sabir Hussain

The Delhi government on Monday imposed a “special corona fee” of 70% of the MRP on all categories of liquor that will be sold in the city with effect from Tuesday.

The fee was approved by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and a notification was later issued by the Delhi government’s finance department. The fee would apply at “70% of the maximum retail price of all categories of liquor sold through written licences for consumption off the premises,” read the order.

Senior government officials said that the lockdown since March 25 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cost the Delhi government around Rs 645 crore in revenue from the sale of alcohol, when calculated on the basis of revised estimates in the 2019-20 state budget. The excise department was preparing a full report on the exact revenue loss incurred by the ban on the sale of liquor for over 40 days, they said.

The Delhi government’s late night move will boost the government revenue but will also result in a steep rise in the prices of retails liquor bottle. For instance, a liquor bottle with a maximum retail price of Rs 1,000 earlier, will now cost Rs 1,700 in the city.

The Finance Department of the Delhi government said “70 per cent of the maximum retail price (will be levied) on all categories of liquor sold through retail licensees for consumption....”

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal warned that his government would be forced to shut shops -- opened under conditional scaling down of the lockdown restrictions applicable till May 17 – in case of violation of social distancing norms.

Kejriwal’s warning came after the chaos that followed the opening of government-run wine shops in the city after 40 days. Many liquor shops had to be shut and at some places police had to disperse huge crowds that had gathered in front of the shops.

According to an official, about 150 government-run liquor shops have been allowed to open from 9 am to 6:30 pm in accordance with the latest lockdown relaxations given by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Delhi registered another big spike of 349 new cases of Covid-19 that took the national capital’s tally to 4,898, the health department said in a statement Monday night.

There are 3,403 active cases while 1,431 people have recovered from Covid-19. There was no casualty in the last 24 hours which remained at 64.

(With agency inputs)

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022