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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

After surcharge on stamp duty, Rajasthan government plans ‘cow cess’ on liquor too

The proposal of cow cess on liquor is still in the planning stage, government insiders familiar with the matter said. The government is yet to finalise the cess rate and the types of liquor on which it will be imposed.

jaipur Updated: Jun 08, 2018 10:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Cow conservation and protection has remained a focus area for the BJP government in Rajasthan led by chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
Cow conservation and protection has remained a focus area for the BJP government in Rajasthan led by chief minister Vasundhara Raje.(HT/Vipin Kumar)
         

Having had a moderate success in generating revenue for protection of cows by imposing a surcharge on stamp duty, the Rajasthan government is now considering levying a ‘cow cess’ on liquor too.

The proposal is still in the planning stage, government insiders familiar with the matter said. The government is yet to finalise the cess rate and the types of liquor on which it will be imposed. “Those buying liquor, however, will have to shell out more,” a government official said on the condition of anonymity.

The proposal comes even as the government is considering to double the surcharge on stamp duty for the protection of cows from the existing 10% to 20%. Rajasthan goes to elections later this year. Cow conservation and protection has remained a focus area for the BJP government led by chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

Raje had in April last year imposed a 10% surcharge on all non-judicial instruments for the conservation and propagation of cows. Thus those making rent agreements, mortgage papers and lease agreement were asked to pay a little extra.

In one year, the government managed to generate around Rs 235 crore in revenue from the cow surcharge levied on stamp duty. “The state cabinet has approved the notification of increasing the surcharge on stamp duty by 10%. The proposal has been sent to Governor for approval,” a source close to the matter said.

A senior official said the surcharge imposed was inadequate in comparison to grants required for cow shelters. The government had increased grant to registered shelters to six months from three months in the budget but did not increase the tax to meet the requirement.

Rajasthan has 2,562 registered cow shelters and 9.6 lakh bovines for which Rs 490 crore is required as grant for six months, the official said. The government intends to distribute the grant among the cow shelters before the assembly election.

The current rate of stamp duty on property registration is 5% for men and 4% for women. The 20% of surcharge for cow protection will be in addition to this.

An order issued by the state finance department on March 31, 2017 read: “In exercise of the powers conferred of the Rajasthan Stamp Act, 1998 and in supersession of this department’s notification, state government hereby order surcharge at the rate of 10% on stamp duty payable on all instruments for the purposes of conservation and propagation of cow and its progeny.”