New Delhi: In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have levied additional 25 per cent tax on alcohol to generate extra revenue. Earlier several states and UT including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had raised the taxes on liquor to give boost to their revenue. Also Read - Coronavirus: Should Delhi Hospitals be Reserved For Residents Only? 40% For, 60% Against CM Arvind Kejriwal's Idea
Excise Department officials of the three states said that the 25 per cent duty was increased with immediate effect in order to to meet the unexpected financial burden and expenditure arising out of the lockdown. Also Read - Mohammed Shami Confident of Getting Reverse Swing Despite Saliva Ban in Cricket Due to COVID-19
The decision was taken by the Sarbanadna Sonowal-led Assam government in its cabinet meeting on Friday. “The additional 25 per cent excise duty would generate an extra income of Rs 1,000 crore for the state to meet the unforeseen financial burden and expenditure arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” an official told news agency IANS. Also Read - Coronavirus: With 2,287 New Cases Maharashtra at 72,300; Gujarat Reaches 17,632 With 415 Fresh Cases
Meghalaya government Excise Department official said that with the increase in the duty on liquor, the government will get additional revenue to the tune of Rs 120 – Rs 130 crore. “In the last financial year (2019-20), the excise duty and VAT (Value Added Tax) collected in Meghalaya from the liquor sale was Rs 260 crore,” he added.
In Itanagar, an official said that the Arunachal Pradesh government has levied a ‘cess’ of 25 per cent on the maximum retail price of all alcoholic beverages including IMFL, effective from Saturday midnight.
Last month, these three northeastern states had increased the prices of petrol and diesel by raising Value Added Tax and cess to generate additional revenues.