Healthcare tax on sale of liquor, hiked prices of petrol, diesel to generate revenue in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand government in its cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday decided to levy healthcare tax on the sale of liquor and increase the price of petrol and diesel in the Himalayan state.
The price of the of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) has been increased by Rs 20 to 200 per bottle, country-made liquor by Rs 20 per bottle and foreign-made liquor by Rs 475 per bottle. With this, the state expects to generate additional revenue of Rs 250 crore. The price hike on liquor will be effective from Friday.
The price of petrol and diesel were increased by Rs 2 and Re 1 per litre respectively. At present, the price of petrol in the state is Rs 72.55 per litre and diesel costs Rs 63.17 per litre. The increase in petrol and diesel price will help the state government generate additional revenue of Rs 120 crore.
During the cabinet meeting, 15 proposals were discussed, of which 13 were passed, said Madan Kaushik, cabinet minister and spokesperson of the state government.
Kaushik said various issues related to coronavirus epidemic were discussed during the meeting. He said they were expecting the centre to categorise all districts in the state under orange and green zone within a day or two.
At present, Haridwar is the only district which is under the red zone. The state has 61 positive Covid-19 cases out of which 39 (64 %) have recovered. “This situation here is much better than in the neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh or at the national level,” said Kaushik.
Kaushik said that 1.7 lakh people stranded in other states have registered for return to the state so far. “Of these, 7,625 from Garhwal and 4,895 from Kumaon have urged that they want to return using private vehicles. Those who want to return through public transport provided by the state government include 79,592 from Garhwal and 78,137 from Kumaon region. These stranded people will be brought back over the next few days”, he said
To retain the people who have returned to the state during the lockdown, employment through Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana will be provided to them, said Kaushik. “Under MSME, we have created three categories, and these people will be provided loans to start their ventures here so that they can stay in their home state and earn their livelihood”, he said.
According to the state rural development and migration commission, over 59,360 migrants working away from their home districts have returned to the state during the lockdown.
SS Negi, vice chairman of the commission, said, “We have utilised the database of the returned migrants created by the state health department. Using the details, we contacted some of them to find out what measures could be taken to make them start working here.”
Negi said out of the total 60,000 people approximately, “65% work in other states like Delhi, Goa and Chhattisgarh followed by 25 % in plain cities of the state and 5% in foreign countries like Australia, New Zealand, Gulf and China.”