Ranchi, July 1 (Calcutta Tube) Liquor shops in Jharkhand were closed indefinitely from Thursday in protest against the state government’s move to impose multi-point value added tax (VAT) on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) to mop up revenue.
The Jharkhand Wine Dealers Association (JWDA) decided to close the shops after the Governor’s advisory council imposed a 50 per cent multi-point VAT on IMFL.
Last year the government had hiked the sales tax on liquor from 35 to 50 per cent on the maximum retail price (MRP).
Earlier, the sales tax was imposed at single point. Now 50 percent VAT has been imposed at three points – manufacturing, depot/ wholesale and retail shop. This is set to increase the price of liquor by 40 per cent a bottle.
Under the new tax structure that came into force Thursday, a bottle of 750 ml branded whisky will go up by Rs.90-300. The price of beer will rise by Rs.30 a bottle.
The JWDA said the new tax system will put a heavy burden on the tipplers and the sales will go down.
‘The sales are already down by 15 to 20 per cent. It will also promote black marketing in the state,’ Anup Chawla, a JWDA member, told IANS.
The JWDA demanded withdrawal of the multi-point VAT with immediate effect.