Alcohol drinkers other than those who prefer beer will have to shell out more money for a drink from April 1 as Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced a hike on additional excise duty rates on Indian-Made Liquor (IML) across all slabs but one.
The excise duty has been raised by around 8% on 17 slabs barring the first slab which means that the prices of Indian Made Liquor will now go up.
Speaking at a media interaction at Vidhana Soudha, Siddaramaiah justified the hike by pointing out that excise revenue took a hit in the current financial year because of the ban on sale of liquor on highways. "For the reason stated (SC ban), we expect to mobilise revenue of Rs 17,600 crore for the current financial year," Siddaramiah said as per Times of India.
In December 2016, the Supreme Court had put into effect a ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres along national and state highways, leaving pub owners scrambling.
The ban has now exempted cities by enforcing it only on areas that are not a municipality.
The revenue target for 2017-18 was Rs 18,050 crore but the collections of Rs 14,572 crore fell short of the target. The state is targeting a collection of Rs, 17,600 crore for the current financial year.
Speaking to The Hindu, Honnagiri Gowda, president of Karnataka Wine Merchantsâ€™ Association, said that the decision would impact the liquor industry. â€śAfter last yearâ€™s hike, the cost increase per bottle was between Rs 20 and Rs 300. Yet another hike will affect us and duplicates will increase,â€ť he said.
While many restaurants and pubs had not increased prices last year due to fear of losing customers, it appears inevitable this time around that prices will be increased.