PUDUCHERRY: Spirits are getting more expensive in Puducherry as the UT government imposes a special excise tax of 20% on alcohol from July 15th. However, liquor in the UT will continue to be cheaper than those in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and other states.
According to a notice from the excise authority issued by Deputy Commissioner T Sudhakar on Wednesday, the government has imposed a uniform 20% excise duty on the MRP for all brands in Pondicherry with effect from July 15, 2021. It applies to India – manufactured foreign alcohol or imported alcohol sold in the UT.
The special consumption tax (SED), popularly known as the corona tax, was levied in May of this year to reduce the prices of spirits to those of the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka in order to contain the spread of Covid in all four regions of the UT. After a year, the excise agency withdrew it in April 2021, making alcohol cheaper again.
After three months, however, the SED was levied again, this time to generate income. This time the SED was uniform and the decision was made to increase revenue generation, said Sudhakar. Liquor prices will continue to be cheaper than neighboring states and will not affect tourism, he said.
Around 920 brands of spirits are sold in Puducherry, 154 of which are in both Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. “We expect to mobilize additional income of around 250-300 billion rupees from July to March,” he said. Currently, in the current scenario, revenue of around Rs 60 crores per month is generated from the excise duty.
The SED’s levy last year earned the government around Rs. 750 billion in excise taxes, but fell short of the budgeted Rs. 850 billion due to Covid restrictions.