Himachal decides to levy Covid-cess on liquor sales

Shimla:  Tipplers, who were left high and dry in first two Covid-19 lockdowns in the country with the government not allowing liquor vends to open, will now have to shell out more for alcohol in lockdown 3.0 in Himachal Pradesh as the state cabinet today decided to levy Covid cess (additional license fee) on sales of liquor. The cabinet, in its meeting presided over by Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur here, decided that Rs 5 per bottle would be charged as Covid Cess on Country Liquor, Rs 10 per bottle on IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor), Rs. 5 per bottle/Can on Beer/RTD Indian Made, Rs 25 per bottle on Foreign Imported Liquor (BIO), Rs 10 per bottle/Can on Beer/RTD (BIO), Rs 10 per bottle on Indian Wine/Cider and Rs 25 per bottle on Wine/Cider (BIO) in the state. The Covid- cess will reasonably increase revenues from liquor sales in HP. The cabinet also decided to hike import fee on all kinds of spirits used by the industries (L-19A licenses) for manufacturing all kind of sanitisation products from Rs 10.50 per bulk litres to Rs 15 per bulk litres. The cabinet also gave nod to increase the curfew relaxation to seven hours in the state from current five hours. The cabinet sub-committee constituted for post Covid-19 economic revival made a presentation before the cabinet regarding its recommendations for expediting developmental works, mobilization of resources and possible support to different sectors. The sub-committee recommended that the information on skills of Himachalis who have come back to the state must be shared with Labour and Employment and Industries Departments for their utilization in available sectors within Himachal.