After few days of success, when people where swarming over liquor stores, now shops in Telangana have hit a dry patch with sales dropping by close to 50 per cent over the last few days. Concerned, dealers have now written to the authorities seeking relief in payment of licence tax, due in June. With all outlets shut for 45 days – during the lockdown — and revenues still running low dealers have appealed to the government to waive off the tax for all the days in which they were closed.
Telangana currently has 2,230 wine shops. As per norm every store has to pay between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 in license tax per day — adding up to Rs 1.10 crore per year in several cases. This is collected quarterly, at the beginning of the three-month period. The payment for the June to September quarter is due in a few weeks.
“We earnestly request you to consider adjustment of license tax, relating to closure period of 45 days during the lockdown from the installment of license tax payable by us in June, and collect the balance amount only,” read the letter sent to the commissioner of prohibition and excise, by the Telangana Wine Dealers’ Association stressing how their investments have gone up substantially owing to a special excise cess levied by the government. “As lockdown conditions are still continuing and shops have to be closed at 6 pm, we are put to great financial hardship in meeting our sales revenues,” the letter added.
But realising its contribution to the state financial system, dealers have made another appeal: to extend the license period for 2019-2021 by 45 days “Our first hope is that the government will not collect taxes for the 45 days when we didn’t make any money. But in case it feels that it will be a huge revenue loss, we urge them to extend our license period and collect proportionate license period and collect proportionate licence tax for the extended period at that time,” said D Venkateshwara Rao president of the association