Representational image
Representational image

While the nation, particularly Delhi, is lamenting about the increase in alcohol prices after the lockdown on wine shops are lifted, armed forces, too, it appears may have to pay the same amount for their favourite drinks, Free Press Journal has learned. Currently, liquor Sales is presently closed in the defence canteen due change in Delhi excise duty that came into effect. It will be reopened after necessary authorities take a call on what needs to be done.

Usually, defence canteens offer a subsidised amount for people serving in the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. However, due to the lockdown, the canteens have been shut. This means that defence personnel will have to buy alcohol like civilians i.e. they will have to pay the extra tax, depending on which part of India they are in at the moment. If they are in Delhi, they will be required to pay 70 per cent COVID-19 tax, while those in other parts will have to pay based on what the state is charging.

"If defence people have to buy it in retail stores then any and all taxes that are applicable to general public would be applicable to them as well. The only concession is in the defence canteens, if any," a source told Free Press Journal.

Earlier, Delhi took the lead by imposing a new tax ‘special corona fee’ which is around 70 per cent. This means this will be an additional 70 per cent from the existing taxes.

The Andhra Pradesh government had also allowed the sale of liquor from Monday with a 25 per cent hike. This is above the already taxed rates of over 150 per cent and more, subject to type of alcohol. After Delhi increased the taxes, this state is mulling over raising it further. The state is calling it prohibition tax to discourage people from buying alcohol.

The West Bengal government will impose 30 per cent additional taxes on MRP, which is again different from the already imposed taxes. The state took this decision to meet their expenses during the time of lockdown. This additional taxation will be over and above the existing taxes the states already collects from alcohol sale.

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