Kerala government budget sees hike in tax on liquor

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 2 : The Kerala government in its budget presented on Friday has decided to slap 210 per cent tax on liquor costing over Rs 400, and 200 per cent tax on those costing less than Rs 400, while beer would be taxed at 100 per cent.

State Finance Minister Thomas Issac while presenting his third state budget for the new fiscal decided to give the nod for the sale of foreign made foreign liquor (FMFL) in the state.

Issac said through the changes being brought in the tax structure on beer and wine, in the next fiscal the Left government expects an increase of Rs 60 crore.

"Various items of tax have been withdrawn, and the new structure is liquor costing above Rs 400 will invite a tax of 210 per cent, while liquor costing below Rs 400 will invite a tax of 200 per cent.

Beer will be taxed at 100 per cent. Likewise for FMFL the tax rate would be 78 per cent and for imported wine it would be 28 per cent," said Issac.

Speaking to IANS, a top official of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation said it is a "misconception" that price of liquor is going to go up, and such a thing is not going to happen.

"Till now there were various items that tax used to be collected on liquor which included surcharge on sales tax, cess on various items.

What has been done in this budget is all such different items have been removed and a single rate of 200 and 210 per cent has been fixed on liquor.

Consequent to that those who buy liquor will be able to get 70 per cent of liquor products at the same price as of today, and for the remaining 30 per cent, it would be priced around Rs 10 to Rs 15 as of now.

This applies to beer also where the MRP of beer would remain almost the same as of today, while some might cost a little more," said the official who did not wish to be identified.

Issac also said like the state-owned Kerala State Beverages Corporation (KSBC) being the sole wholesalers for Indian Made Foreign Liquor and beer, they will be doing the same for FMFL and imported wine.



Source: IANS