Oleg Magni

With some states in India opening up liquor shops, it has come as a great relief to souls that are depended on it for high spirits. But their spirits (even before consuming) got so high that they decided to break queues in front of alcohol shops and failed to maintain social distancing. Looks like the government of Delhi saw this as an opportunity to fill their coffers and punish the undisciplined people — by raising taxes on liquor.

Let’s find out which state is taxing its people how much for alcohol

Delhi: There is no doubt that Delhi has taken 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.

Haryana: The Haryana government is also mulling over introducing ‘Covid Cess’, taking cue from its neighbour, New Delhi. This state is already taxing the consumers based on a fixed charges per bottle. So, we will have to see how this state plans to levy extra charges on alcoholic beverages.

Andhra Pradesh: The Andhra Pradesh government has 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.

Maharashtra: The taxation on alcohol by the state is as high as 60 per cent and can be as low as 20 per cent, depending on the type of alcohol like country, foreign etc. This has not changed much due to lockdown. However, like many states, the black market has been brewing here as well.

Rajasthan: The government in this state has increased excise duty on liquor by 10 per cent. So, the taxes on liquor could go up to 45 per cent. This decision to increase the rate was taken during the lockdown period. But it directly does not address it as Corona taxes.

West Bengal: 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.

Tamil Nadu: Like some other states, this state levies heavy taxes on the companies in the alcohol business. But at the consumer level, it is around 15 per cent. However, by the end of the day, all costs are borne by the consumer. At present, this state is preparing itself to lift the shutters of closed alcohol shops from May 7.

Karnataka: The state charges the consumer based on per bottle rather than taxes on MRP. This is a flat charge which some other states in the country follow.

Kerala: This state taxes its people as high as 200 per cent in case of foreign liquor and around 100 per cent in the case of beer. At present, the state has not allowed liquor shops to start operations. A major portion of the state revenue of this state is from sales of liquor.

Madhya Pradesh: This agrarian state levies taxes as high as 10 per cent on alcohol. This was as low as 5 per cent until December 2019, but to make some additional revenue, the state took the decision. At this time of crisis, it has not taken any decision to increase taxes on liquor yet.

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