Uttarakhand government decides to impose cess for cow protection under new excise policy
The decision came at a cabinet meeting on Monday that took a relook at the state’s excise policy. Besides imposing the Rs 3 cess, the government decided to reduce liquor prices.
DEHRADUN: The BJP-ruled Uttarakhand government has decided to impose a cess of Rs 3 on the sale of liquor bottles across all brands. Reason: the government wants to allocate Rs 1 each to cow protection, women’s welfare, and sports.
The decision came at a cabinet meeting on Monday that took a relook at the state’s excise policy. Besides imposing the Rs 3 cess, the government decided to reduce liquor prices. This way, liquor will become cheaper by Rs 100 to Rs 300 per bottle depending on the brand.
State Excise Secretary and Commissioner Harichandra Semwal told this paper that licence holders selling foreign liquor will be able to re-operate by paying 10% and licence holders with country liquor shops will be able to continue with the business by paying 15% additional fees.
The Uttarakhand government has increased the revenue from liquor shops to Rs 4,000 crore this year. Last year, the target was Rs 3,600 crore. To prevent adulteration of country liquor, the government has decided to sell it in tetra packs in place of glass bottles.
A senior excise department official said many new provisions have been made in the state’s excise policy. Under this, the price of liquor in Uttarakhand will now remain the same as in Uttar Pradesh. There will be no difference in prices by more than Rs 20 on the brand’s liquor prices as compared to Uttar Pradesh. This will curb liquor smuggling.
State Congress chief Karan Mahara, however, opposed the government’s decision. Describing the decision as unfortunate, Mahara said, “The new measure will give full protection to the liquor mafia and deliver liquor to every household in villages across the state.”
Highest rate of alcohol consumption in North India
As per government record in Uttarakhand, 32% of men consume alcohol. This is the highest rate among the north Indian states. The price of liquor in the state will remain the same as in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. This will curb liquor smuggling, according to an official.