A tale of two booze taxes: Maharashtra cuts excise, MP plans surcharge

Good liquor comes at a price, especially as governments impose an unfair tax. Alcohol lovers would always complain about this aspect. But it seems they have a reason to smile in Maharashtra, and perhaps, lament their hearts out in Madhya Pradesh.

First the good news. The Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra has decided to cut the excise duty by half on imported scotch. The excise duty which was 300% on imported scotch would now be 150%.

A government official told news agency PTI that this was done to bring its price on par with that in other states.

The notification in this regard was issued on Thursday, she said.

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From the ₹100 crore the state earned through this method, it now expects to gain ₹250 crore as the sales is expected to go up from one lakh bottles to 2.5 lakh bottles.

For cow care in Madhya Pradesh

On the other hand, the Madhya Pradesh government is planning to impose a surcharge on liquor to generate around ₹100 crore for the conservation of cows.

The Gau Samvardhan Board (Cow Conservation Board), which met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday, placed a demand for the said amount as they needed ₹160 crores to feed 2.6 lakh cows living in 1,300 cow shelters. But, the budget provided is ₹60 crore, according to an unnamed official quoted by Hindustan Times.

Also read: Kerala HC favours walk-in liquor shops to reduce queues, crowding

The Chief Minister is learnt to have asked officials to impose surcharges on products and services.

An official told the daily that the government cannot impose any additional tax on the products and services which are already covered under GST.

The only option left with them was to impose a tax on liquor, electricity and services provided by the municipal bodies.

The plan would be finalised soon and approved by the Gau (cow) cabinet formed last year, the official told HT.

The opposition Congress has criticised the BJP government for spending money on events and burdening the common man with additional taxes for welfare of cows.

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