Home >News >India >Delhi govt to withdraw special corona fee on liquor from next week
A man carries liquor bottles after buying them at a wine shop during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, May 4, 2020 (REUTERS)
A man carries liquor bottles after buying them at a wine shop during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, May 4, 2020 (REUTERS)

Delhi govt to withdraw special corona fee on liquor from next week

  • The decision comes days after the authorities had defended their decision to impose a fee on liquor
  • The city government had claimed that it was free to accord or regulate liquor prices as per the state excise law

The Delhi government will soon withdraw the 'special corona fee' that was introduced after the liquor shops were allowed to operate in the capital. The new rates will come into effect from 10 June. However, an official has claimed that the VAT will be increased from 20% to 25%.

The decision comes days after the authorities had defended their decision to impose a fee on liquor to the high court. The city government had claimed that it was free to accord or regulate liquor prices as per the state excise law.

In an affidavit released by the government, authorities claimed that 10 other states, Assam, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have imposed similar fees.

The Delhi government had imposed a fee equivalent to 70% of the MRP from 5 May. After almost a month, the government has decided to take back the hike. In the first 15 days of implementing the new rates, the state had managed to accumulate 110 crore despite being selectively open.

Later that month, the government said the total excise revenue collected during 4 May to 25 May was around 227.44 crore. This includes 127 crore in special corona fee. Despite the special corona fee, the revenue paled in comparison to what the city had earned in May 2019. Delhi had collected a revenue of 425.24 crore in May 2019.

Delhi has more than 850 liquor shops, of which around 150 are located in malls and at the airport. Most wine shops weren't operational last month. This could be seen as the reason behind the sharp decline in earnings.

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