The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday hiked the excise duty by 15 per cent on IMFL resulting in a price hike of Rs 10-20 for the tipplers. This decision comes a day before reopening the state-owned liquor outlets in the state, barring Chennai. Prices of liquor will be raised by a maximum of Rs 20 from May 7 in Tamil Nadu. The retail outlets will open for business for the first time in over 40 days due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the state government said on Wednesday.
The liquor retail in Tamil Nadu is a state monopoly run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation or popularly known as TASMAC. The decision to hike the rates comes a day ahead of state-run TASMAC retail outlets set to reopen in Tamil Nadu, with the government giving the nod to resume sales citing Centre's relaxation in this connection and tipplers from border districts thronging shops in Karnataka and AP on May 4.
In a statement issued here, the government said it has increased the excise duty by 15 per cent on the IMFL.
As a result, the maximum retail price (MRP)of an ordinary variety of 180 ml bottle will go up by Rs 10 and that of the medium and premium varieties of IMFL increase by Rs 20 per 180 ml bottle.
There are over 5,300 Tasmac liquor outlets in the state contributing about Rs 30,000 crore of tax revenue to the state exchequer.
The country had entered the third phase of the ongoing coronavirus-triggered lockdown on Monday, albeit with some relaxations, including on resuming liquor sales. Incidentally, the Andhra Pradesh government had twice increased the liquor rates in the past two days, totally effecting a 75 percent increase to ''discourage'' people from consumption and safeguard their health.
The revenue from the liquor bottle sales was bottled up during the lockdown period.
The Tamil Nadu government said in order to control the movement of people in the border areas with Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as liquor shops have been opened there, the decision to open the liquor shops in the state was taken.
Major opposition parties in the state have strongly criticised the government's decision to open the liquor outlets at a time when the number of persons getting infected with coronavirus in the state are on the rise.
Earlier the Tamil Nadu government increased the value added tax (VAT) on petrol (Rs 3.25 per litre) and diesel (Rs 2.50/litre) with a hope to earn an additional Rs 2,500 crore.