In Just 15 Days, Delhi Government Earns Over Rs 110 Crore From ‘Special Corona Fee’ On Liquor


May 23, 2020, 05:07 PM | Updated 05:07 PM IST

A liquor store  (Representative Image) (Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)
A liquor store  (Representative Image) (Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)

In just 15 days of imposing the 'special corona fee' on liquor, the Delhi government has earned over Rs 110 crore from the cess and is expecting even more in the coming days with the opening up of more shops.

According to data received from the Delhi Excise Department, while the earning was about Rs 55 crore till 12 May, the 'special corona fee' collection went up to Rs 70 crore by 15 May. By 21 May, the collection of the fee rose to about Rs 110 crore.

The revenue collection from liquor -- which is a major source of income for the city government -- is likely to increase further with the opening up of more liquor shops from Saturday.

While close to 100 liquor vends were allowed to open in lockdown 3.0, now about 200 shops are functional across the city, including standalone shops and those in market places.

From Saturday (23 May), 66 private liquor shops were allowed to open by the Excise Department.

According to official data, Delhi has more than 850 liquor shops, of which around 150 are located in malls and at the airport -- which will not be allowed to operate.

From 5 May, the government imposed a special corona fee on liquor -- which is 70 per cent of the MRP.

Also, to avoid crowding at these shops, an e-coupon system has been introduced which allows people to visit a particular liquor shop on a given date and time.

"The sale of liquor has gone up after the ‘e-token' system was introduced," an Excise Department official told IANS.

Revenue generation of the government was badly hit by the coronavirus induced lockdown.

The Delhi government has also increased the value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. According to an official figure for the current financial year, the government was expecting about 15 per cent of its total revenue generation from liquor sales. However, with the lockdown in force since 25 March, the government has incurred a loss of about Rs 700 crore in liquor sales.

According to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, every year in April, the estimated revenue generation is Rs 3,500 crore, but this year, it was just Rs 300 crore. He came out in public saying if the situation continued, it will be difficult for the government to pay salaries to its employees.

There are two sources of revenue for a state -- tax revenue and non-tax revenue. Tax revenue includes the state's own tax revenue and the share of the Central government in it. It also includes taxes on income, property, capital transactions, commodities and services.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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