Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)
From April, liquor to be 50% dearer in Goa
PANAJI: Liquor is set to cost up to 50% more from April 1 in Goa, chief minister Pramod Sawant said in the assembly on Thursday. Presenting his maiden budget, Sawant announced a hike in excise duties and fee on the sale of liquor, with the hikes ranging from 20%-50% for all categories of liquor.
“We have only made a small increase in tax so as not to increase the burden on the common man. We have hiked excise duties and fees a little, stamp duty has been hiked, land rates have been revised and court fees have been increased,” he told mediapersons after his budget presentation. Goa’s excise revenue collection was ~477.67 crore during the financial year 2018-19 which was an increase of 16.5% over the previous year while the new excise duties and fees will see the government rope in additional excise revenue of ~100 crore — an increase of around 25%. Despite the hikes, however, booze available in Goa would continue to be cheaper than that in other states. Sawant also promised to crack down on black-marketing by proposing to introduce a unique hologram on each bottle which would authenticate the liquor. Besides liquor, the government has hiked stamp duty, fees under the land revenue code, as well as the court fees which, the CM said, will help mobilize revenue of additional ~150 crore. While admitting that mining operations were suspended for a while, Sawant budgeted a revenue generation of ~500 crore from the industry.
DESPITE THE HIKES, HOWEVER, BOOZE AVAILABLE IN GOA WOULD CONTINUE TO BE CHEAPER THAN THAT IN OTHER STATES. GOA CM SAWANT PROMISED TO CRACK DOWN ON BLACK-MARKETING BY PROPOSING TO INTRODUCE A UNIQUE HOLOGRAM ON EACH BOTTLE WHICH WOULD AUTHENTICATE THE LIQUOR