Guwahati: The Assam government has hiked the rates of excise duty on liquor by 15 per cent to compensate the losses to State exchequer due to reduction value added tax on petrol and diesel. The new rates will come into effect from today (December 10).
A statement from the excise department said that the tax will be higher for costly liquor in Assam while no tax has been proposed for wine, beer and cheap brands in view of the high existing levy and to protect the local industries.
It may be noted, in the revenue years 2001-02, the government of Assam gained an excise revenue of Rs 148 crores against Rs 2,033 crore in the fiscal years 2020-21. In this fiscal, the department has chosen a target of excise revenue collection as Rs 2,400-crore.
The State has 1,234 liquor and wine Shops, 318 in Guwahati alone. The number of bars in the state is 996.
During the first wave of COVID-19, alcohol prices in the state had gone up after the government decided to include a 25% cess on liquor.
The 25% COVID-19 cess was imposed on alcohol a year ago to meet healthcare expenses amid the pandemic. However, later on the cess was lifted.