Odisha revises “Special Covid Fee” on liquor from 50% to 15%

"Liquor bottles kept in a line.">

The liquor shops in Odisha were closed since March 22, when the lockdown was imposed. Later on, the Odisha government gave permission for home delivery of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) on May 25. “A total of 1,508 IMFL OFF and ON shops participated in the process of home delivery”, an official said. Soon, the government also allowed home delivery of country liquor.

On 1st July finally, the liquor shops in the state were reopened and were given permission to remain open from 7 am to 6 pm. In the month of May, the Odisha government had initially imposed the Special Covid Fee on the alcoholic beverage by approximately 50 per cent for most of the alcoholic beverages (IMFL & Beer) compared to 2019-20.

On Friday, the government reduced the ‘Special Covid Fee’ of 50 percent of MRP on liquor to 15 percent. This revision occurred after considering the MRP of liquor prevailing in other states, specifically the neighboring states, and also to ensure that no non-duty paid liquor from outside the state enters Odisha due to price differential.

“For this purpose, a revision in “Special Covid Fee” is being done in such a manner that MRP of various FMFU IMFU Beer/ Wine/ RTD brands is hiked in the range of around 15% over the prevailing MRP of 2019-20 for most of the products (instead of a present hike of 50%) w.e.f. 10.07.2020,” according to a release by the excise department.

The state excise secretary S.K. Lohani said that last year Rs 4,500 crore were collected in revenue but this year, due to the Covid-19 the revenue collection is badly hit and they’re hopeful of collecting more revenue in future. Around Rs 200 crores have been collected as “Special Covid Fee” so far.

The brand-wise revised MRP of these products is being notified by OSBC and will be available on their website www.osbc.co.in.