After exhorting government employees to part with their salary for two days, the state government has decided to make liquor consumers to pay for flood relief. The special cabinet that met here on Thursday has decided to increase the excise duty of Indian-Manufactured Foreign Liquor to raise money for flood relief. This will be a temporary measure and will be in force only till November 30 this year. The move is expected to generate an additional income of Rs 20-25 crore, which will be transferred to the chief minister’s disaster relief fund.
As it stands, duty is imposed on IMFL liquor in six slabs. Duty will be marginally increased on the basis of the purchase cost of each brand within a slab. For instance, the excise duty is 21 per cent for liquor costing between Rs 235 and Rs 250. This will now be raised to 21.5 per cent. The highest excise duty now is Rs 66. This, sources said, will increase to Rs 70.
Liquor had turned costly since April this year, after the Budget proposals came into force. Finance minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac had increased the tax on IMFL brands costing Rs 400 and above by up to 210 per cent. The tax on liquor priced up to Rs 400 would be 200 per cent.