UP govt hikes fuel, liquor prices; hopes to earn ₹4,400 crore revenue

The decision follows the Centre's move to increase excise duty on petrol by a record ₹10 per litre and ₹13 per litre for diesel

The Opposition attacked the government on soaring fuel costs, even as prices of global crude oil are dropping for the past two weeks raising hopes of OMCs passing on the benefit to the citizens. Representative photo: iStock

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday (May 6) hiked petrol and diesel prices and also asked tipplers to shell out more, decisions meant to generate more revenue for the state in an economy hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Petrol will cost ₹2 more for a litre and diesel ₹1. The decision follows the Centre’s move on Tuesday (May 5) to increase excise duty on petrol by a record ₹10 per litre and ₹13 per litre for diesel.

In Uttar Pradesh, people will shell out between ₹5 to ₹400 more per bottle of liquor, depending on its size and the category of the drink.

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The decisions, taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet, come into effect Wednesday midnight. Together, they add up to over ₹4,400 crore in additional revenue by the end of this financial year.

Finance Minister Suresh Khanna said the hike in liquor prices is likely to earn the state ₹2,350 crore this financial year. The increase in fuel prices will fetch ₹2,070 crore more.

The decision on liquor prices follows similar moves by states like New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana, coinciding with the reopening of liquor shops which were closed for weeks during the lockdown to fight COVID-19.

Khanna said the price of country-made liquor has been increased by ₹5 per bottle.

Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) at the lower end will cost ₹10 more for a 180-ml bottle, ₹20 more for a bottle of up to 500 ml and ₹30 more for larger bottles.

For IMFL in the premium category, the price hike will range between ₹20 and ₹50, depending on the size of the bottle.

Imported liquor will see a hike of ₹100 for a 180 ml bottle, ₹200 for a bottle of up to 500 ml and ₹400 for anything larger.

“The hike is likely to earn revenue of ₹2,350 crore for the state government,” Khanna said.

The sale of liquor in the state also came to a halt following the imposition of the nationwide lockdown, the UP finance minister said.

He said many people resorted to buying illicit liquor when they could not get the genuine drinks. As a result, there were reports of illicit liquor being made on a large scale in the villages, he said.

Over 80,000 litre of illicit liquor was seized till May 4 and 499 illicit liquor-manufacturing units busted in the state. More than 3,500 FIRs were registered and about 3,600 people arrested in this connection, he said.

Khanna also referred to the recent Ghaziabad case in which three friends consumed a sanitiser and other toxic liquids. Two of them died and the third man was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

In Kanpur too, some people died after consuming illicit liquor, he added.

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