THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Liquor prices are set to go up marginally with Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac’s Budget announcing a hike in the sales tax of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and beer.
The Budget also announced plans to market foreign-made foreign liquor (FMFL) in the state alongside IMFL.The government has decided to hike the sales tax of IMFL brands costing up to `400 to 200 per cent and brands costing above `400 to 210 per cent. The sales tax used to be 125 per cent and 135 per cent, respectively. The tax on beer will go up from 70 per cent to 100 per cent.
Nonetheless, Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) officers said the maximum price hike will be to the tune of `10 per bottle as the Budget has also announced the withdrawal of various cesses.
The sales tax surcharge, social security cess, medical cess and rehabilitation cess collected on liquor will be removed, Isaac said on Friday.
But the big news for tipplers is the government’s plan to have Bevco, in a first, market FMFL alongside IMFL brands. The decision was taken in view of the fact that unauthorised FMFL sales have become rampant in the state, and the government was losing out on revenue.The import duty on FMFL is to be fixed at 78 per cent and that of wine at 25 per cent. There is no plan to market foreign beer brands at the moment. At present, the import duty on FMFL is 150 per cent.
To ensure that foreign brands do not elbow out IMFL ones, the base price of FMFL per case, excluding import duty, has been fixed at `6,000 and that of wine at `3,000.“Further, a special fee of `87.70 per proof litre will be levied under the Abkari Act on FMFL.
A special fee of `1.25 per bulk litre will be levied on foreign wine. Necessary amendments for this purpose will be made in the Kerala General Sales Tax Act, Surcharge on Taxes Act and Kerala Abkari Act,” Isaac said. The government expects an additional tax revenue of `60 crore from this measure.