Tipplers will have to pay a pretty penny for enjoying their favourite drinks during coronavirus lockdown. Delhi government has decided to impose a 'Special Corona Fee' of 70 per cent on sale of liquor in national capital. The charges will come into effect from April 5, Tuesday.
Under the Delhi Excise Act, 2009, Delhi government will levy "70 per cent of the minimum retail price on all categories of liquor sold through retail licensees for consumption 'off' the premises, a government notification said. The proposal was approved at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday.
Union Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed non-essential standalone shops, or those in neighbourhoods or residential complexes to function in its guidelines for extending coronavirus lockdown till May 17. This allows certain alcohol shops to function in all zones - Red, Orange and Green to operate till 7 pm. Non-essential shops in containment zones will remain closed.
The 'Special Corona Fee' is meant to bolster government revenues, which have taken a severe hit due to coronavirus lockdown. On Sunday, he had said that the government's earnings and economy have been badly affected due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Citing revenue figures, he had said the Delhi government earned Rs 3,500 crore in April 2019, but only Rs 300 crore in April this year. Delhi has been under lockdown since March 23.
Haryana is also mulling a "COVID cess" on liquor to support the areas or institutions adversely hit by the pandemic, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala had said on Sunday.