The Delhi state government will levy 70 per cent extra tax on liquor beginning from Tuesday amidst the coronavirus lockdown.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) government called this new tax ‘special corona fee’ and said that the police should allow people to buy liquor between 9 am to 6:30 pm, NDTV reported.
The 70 per cent tax will be charged on the maximum retail price per bottle. For instance, a liquor bottle with a pre-tax MRP of Rs 1,000 will now cost Rs 1,700.
The decision came after the restrictions were eased on May 3 and the states decided to pull up the shutters of liquor shops across India.
The Delhi government has planned to garner more revenue from liquor sales as the lockdown has disrupted the businesses and tax collection in the national capital.
The move to charge the 70 per cent tax on liquor was first considered at a cabinet meeting chaired by Kejriwal on Monday morning itself, just after the extended lockdown kicked in with some rules eased, news agency PTI reported quoting unnamed sources.
On Sunday, Kejriwal said the state government's earnings and economy have been affected due to the lockdown. Citing revenue figures, he said the Delhi government earned Rs 3,500 crore in April 2019, but only Rs 300 crore in April this year, NDTV report further added.
After the restriction was eased, policemen had to resort to batons to tackle the crowd jostling to buy alcohol for the first time in 40 days, Aljazeera reported.