Odisha reduces special Covid-19 cess on liquor to 15 per cent amid slump in sales
The excise department in a statement said only 15 per cent special Covid cess would be charged on MRP of various liquor including beer and wine instead of the earlier rate of 50 per cent.Updated: Jul 09, 2020 22:17 IST
A little more than a month after the Odisha government levied a special Covid-19 fee of 50 per cent of MRP on alcoholic beverages, it slashed it to 15 per cent due to lower sales.
The excise department in a statement said only 15 per cent special Covid cess would be charged on MRP of various liquor including beer and wine instead of the earlier rate of 50 per cent.
Odisha had imposed a special Covid cess on alcoholic beverages in May that helped it mop up around Rs.200 crores. However, over the last few weeks, cheaper IMFL drinks from neighbouring states have been pouring into Odisha resulting in excise losses for the state.
Last month, manufacturers of alcoholic beverages had urged the state government to reduce the special Covid fee from 50 per cent to a reasonable rate and allow retailers in the state to sell such products from outlets, an official said on Saturday.
Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies director general Vinod Giri in a letter to the Odisha chief minister said the 50 per cent cess had led to a drastic fall in liquor sales.
The state government from the beginning of this month has permitted opening of outlets after allowing them to sell via online. However, the shops would be open till 6 pm to avoid the evening crowd.