'Special corona fee' on booze in Delhi; to be costlier by 70%
A long queue seen outside a liquor shop in New Delhi on May 4, 2020

'Special corona fee' on booze in Delhi; to be costlier by 70%

New Delhi, May 4, 2020

A day after allowing the sale of liquor in the city, the Delhi government on Monday said it will impose a 'special corona fee' on alcohol sale which will be 70 per cent of the maximum retail price (MRP).

In an official order issued late on Monday night, the Finance Department has imposed the fee, applicable from Tuesday.

"70 per cent of the maximum retail price on all categories of liquor sold through retail licencees for consumption off the premises," the Finance Department order signed by the Deputy Secretary reads, describing the fee.

"It will be 70 per cent of the MRP. The new rates will be imposed from Tuesday morning," the government said in the statement.

According to officials, the step will help in boosting the revenue, badly hit due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

On Sunday, while announcing the relaxation in the lockdown -- extended from another two weeks from Monday -- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government is finding it difficult to pay the salaries due to revenue loss of Rs 3,200 crore in April, as compared to the previous year.

The move can be seen as Delhi government's attempt to harvest more revenue from liquor sales as the lockdown has affected businesses and tax collection.

While only standalone liquor shops were allowed to open in Delhi from Monday, a huge rush was witnessed in a number of areas, forcing Kejriwal to issue a warning of sealing the areas and shops again.


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