To mop up the loss of revenue during over a month-long lockdown, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday hiked prices of liquor as well as petrol and diesel. The prices of liquor — the sale of which has been allowed across the state, barring few coronavirus hotspots – has been increased by Rs 5 to Rs 400, depending on the size and category of the drink. The price of diesel has been hiked by Re 1, while the petrol by Rs 2. As a result, diesel will now be sold at Rs 63.86 a litre and petrol Rs 72.91 a litre in the state. The increased prices came into effect from Wednesday midnight.
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Our economic situation has been very week this month. For April, against the target revenue collection of Rs 12,141 crore, the actual revenue collection was mere 1,178 crore… Seeing the present circumstances, it is necessary for us to arrange additional resources,” said state Finance Minister Suresh Khanna, adding that the hike in fuel and liquor prices is likely to fetch a revenue of over Rs 4,300 crore.
“In Delhi, fuel price has been increased by Rs 7 per litre. But considering that diesel is used not for just transportation but by farmers and industry, we have increased it by only Re 1,” said Khanna.
Stating that petrol consumption in the month of March was 470 crore litres in UP, while that of diesel was 1130 crore litres, the Finance Minister said that the hike would bring in additional revenue of about Rs 2,070 crore to the exchequer in the current financial year.
On increasing prices of liquor, the minister said the decision was taken as there has been a spurt in the sale of illicit liquor during the first two phases of the lockdown.
“It is difficult to control someone’s food habits. During the lockdown, we found that the sale of illicit liquor had increased as liquor shops were closed. As per our report, till May 4, at least 80,020 litre of illicit liquor was seized in the state, while 499 illegal manufacturing units were sealed. More than 3,500 FIRs were registered and nearly 3,600 persons were arrested in this connection… However, limits were crossed when some people drank sanitiser in Ghaziabad district when they did not get liquor and died… Three persons died in Kanpur after drinking spurious liquor,” Khanna said, justifying the opening of liquor shops and the increase in its prices.
As per revised liquor prices, the price of country-made liquor has been increased by Rs 5.
“A bottle available for Rs 65 will now be available at Rs 70. Similarly, a bottle of countrymade liquor costing Rs 75 will now be available at Rs 80,” Khanna said.
In the economy and medium segmentof For India-made Foreign Liquors (IMFL), the government has decided a hike of Rs 10 for 180ml bottle, Rs 20 for 180ml -500ml, Rs 30 for over 500ml.
In regular and premium segment of IMFL, the price has been hiked by Rs 20 hike for 180ml bottle, Rs 30 for 180-500ml bottle, and Rs 50 for whereas more than 500ml bottle.
For imported liquor, the price has been hiked by Rs 100 for up to 180ml, Rs 200 hike for 180 to 500ml, Rs 400 hike for more than 500ml bottle.
With the hike in liquor prices, the government hopes to earn revenue by Rs 2,350 crore in the current fiscal.
It is to be noted that on Monday, when over 23,500 liquor shops opened for the first time after over 40 days following easing of lockdown curbs, the excise department earned Rs 100 crore revenue in one day sale.
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