Puducherry

L-G orders continuation of special excise duty on liquor till January 31 next year

Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi has ordered continuation of special excise duty on liquor till January 31 next year.

“The COVID situation in Puducherry is just stabilising and we have got a series of festivals in the anvil namely, Christmas, New Year and Pongal. The COVID status of the Union Territory, vis -a -vis that of the neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, needs to get studied by the ICMR and their views be taken before tinkering with the existing arrangements,” Ms. Bedi said in her response to a government recommendation.

The government had recommended withdrawal of special excise duty that was imposed on Indian Made Foreign Liquor during the peak spread of COVID-19 as a containment measure.

The government had imposed a special excise duty on liquor brands to make prices on a par with neighbouring States to prevent influx of people from bordering districts to buy IMFL bottles after the partial lifting of lockdown in May.

“The duty was imposed with a specific purpose. The new duty was for a period till November 30,” said a top official told The Hindu.

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, along with Minister for Public Works A. Namassivayam, on Sunday convened a high-level official meeting and decided to recommend for the withdrawal of the duty, specifically imposed during the lockdown.

“The government wanted to withdraw the special excise duty and impose a minimum hike on IMFL bottles. The levy of additional duty had spiralled the rate of commonly available brands in the Union Territory and Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The government wanted to impose a minimum 15% hike on Maximum Retail Price and also increase the licence fee so that there was no dip in revenue collection. The government, on an average, collected around ₹60 to ₹70 crore per month as excise duty, the official said.

While in 2017-18, the government netted an excise revenue of ₹769 crore, the figure has jumped to ₹850 crore in 2018-19.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 6:28:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/l-g-orders-continuation-of-special-excise-duty-on-liquor-till-january-31-next-year/article33217016.ece

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