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Punjab to levy COVID19 cess on liquor

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Punjab is facing a revenue shortfall of Rs. 26000 crore, which is 30% of the total budget revenue estimates, for FY 2020-21, necessitating some tough measures to generate additional revenue, said the Chief Minister, accepting the recommendation of the Group of Ministers, which was constituted on May 12 to examine the matter, to levy Addl. Excise Duty and Addl. Assessed Fee on liquor during the current financial year.

Faced with a huge revenue losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic and the prolonged lockdown in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday gave the go-ahead to the imposition of Covid Cess on liquor with effect from June 1.

The move will help the state mop an additional revenue of Rs 145 crore in the current fiscal.

The proceeds of the additional levy shall be utilized entirely for Covid related expenditure, said the Chief Minister, directing the Department of Excise and Taxation to charge the cess in the current year, at the time of issuance of permits for transportation of liquor from L-1/L-13 (wholesale licenses).

Captain Amarinder had earlier asked the Group of Ministers (GoM), comprising the Finance Minister, the Education Minister, the Housing & Urban Development Minister and the Forests & Wildlife Minister, to examine the proposal regarding levy of Special Cess/COVID Cess on the sale of liquor, to partially recoup some of the revenue losses amid this unprecedented crisis.

In line with GoM’s recommendations, the Department of Excise & Taxation has decided to impose Additional Assessed Fee on imported foreign liquor and imported beer, and Additional Excise Duty on other types of liquor, as per the details shared below.

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