Pondy govt mulling COVID-19 tax on liquor, says Narayanasamy

Puducherry, May 8 (PTI): Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said here on Friday that the territorial administration was mulling imposition of special COVID-19 tax on liquor to wriggle out of the current fiscal crisis.

He told reporters that several states have introduced such a tax to offset the loss of revenue.

'Excise revenue is a major source of income for the territorial administration. The COVID-19 lockdown since March 25 had necessitated closure of liquor shops in the Union Territory resulting in loss of revenue to the Exchequer,' he said.` He said a decision on the issue would be taken at the cabinet meeting scheduled for Saturday.

The Chief Minister further said such a tax would be imposed on petrol and diesel also.

The territorial administration has not taken any decision on re-opening the liquor shops that have remained closed during the ongoing lockdownalthough the neighbouring Tamil Nadu had let recommencement of retail sale of liquor through government-owned TASMAC shops, he said.

Narayanasamy had said a decision on re-opening the liquor shops would be taken soon. PTI COR NVG NVG