The State government is levying sales tax of 190 per cent on low-priced liquor as compared to 130 per cent on premium high-priced liquor brands.
Given the tax pattern submitted by the officials concerned, the government is collecting 190 per cent tax in addition to excise duty per proof litres on brands with basic prices fixed between Rs. 300 a case and Rs. 2,500 a case.
Tax from this slab declines gradually to 130 per cent on liquor priced over Rs. 5,000 a case.
The information was furnished to the Departmentally Related Standing Committee on Revenue.
After examining various aspects of the Excise Department, the panel observed that the present pattern of taxation on liquor was ‘pro-rich’.
The government was imposing more tax on liquor priced lesser while the tax on high-priced liquor was less, the committee headed by G. Venkata Seshu said.
The panel recommended that the government make necessary changes in the existing tax pattern on liquor so that consumers get low-priced liquor at lesser prices.
In its report, the panel said it was dismayed to note that assured funds were not released for the campaign committee against liquor consumption.
The committee expressed concern over the prevalence of unauthorised liquor outlets that was hindering the social atmosphere as also the revenues of the government. It recommended that the government constitute committees for passing information to officials about the illicit outlets.
The government should take steps to strengthen the enforcement wing to check flow of non-duty paid liquor into the State that is resulting in loss to the ex-chequer.