Thiruvananthapuram: In order to increase the income of the government during the COVID crisis, an expert committee headed by former chief secretary Dr K M Abraham recommended change in the tax structure of petrol and diesel and increase in the excise duty of liquor by 50 percent.
The committee recommended that home delivery of liquor can be considered. This facility should be provided only for a membership fee. Within 10 years, the government can expect to earn Rs 3744 crore through this system.
The Supreme Court had issued an order in May that the state governments can take decision regarding home delivery of liquor. This verdict was pronounced in order to reduce crowd in the liquor shops and maintain social distancing.
The committee assumes that about 40 lakh people consume alcohol in Kerala. Among them, 30 percent people are expected to encourage home delivery liquor. They should be charged with a membership fee. The normal membership fee is Rs 100 and advanced membership fee is Rs 500. The fee can be paid annually or for ten years at a time.
They also have to pay 18 percent GST. Delivery charge should be paid to the agency separately. Beverages Corporation should be given the charge of home delivery system. Apart from this, if excise duty and sales tax are added by 50 percent, the income will increase by Rs 6542 crore annually.
Apart from this, the committee also recommended to form a fund for COVID resistance and distress relief with the help of government employees and pensioners. The financial assistance provided for the aided education sector is likely to be reduced step by step.
The general tax for fuel should be reduced and a special tax should be imposed. The fair price of land should be added every year. Hospital and education fees should also be increased by 5 percent. The sale of lottery should be increased by 20 percent. These are recommendations to increase the income of the government.