Himachal Pradesh State Budget 2023: CM proposes Milk/Cow Cess on Liquor

Himachal Pradesh State Budget 2023 - CM - Milk - Cow Cess on Liquor - Taxscan

The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, who is also the Finance Minister of the State, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Friday announced a cow cess of Rs 10 per bottle on sale of liquor, and said it would fetch Rs. 100 crore revenue per annum, while presenting the State Budget for the year 2023-24.

Starting from April 1, buying liquor in Shimla and other hill towns will become more expensive as the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to levy a new ‘cow’ or ‘milk’ cess of Rs 17 per bottle, in addition to the existing cess of Rs 7 per bottle. This decision will directly benefit Punjab, as tourists and locals alike are increasingly turning to the state to purchase cheaper liquor.

To add to the burden, buyers will also have to pay a new milk cess of Rs 10 on all kinds of liquor, including English and country liquor, beer, wine, and foreign liquor. This policy has been notified by the excise and taxation department. The move is expected to raise funds for setting up gau sadans or shelter homes for stray cattle.

Announcing this in the Assembly, CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu said that “we have brought a policy that reflects our culture. We say that those who sit down to drink (alcohol) in the evening, drink milk in the morning. He said that now the evening bottle will be expensive and morning milk will be cheaper”, according to sources.

However, poor implementation of the gau-sadan or gau shala setting plans after the levy of cow or milk cess is a major concern as the donations statistically declined in the states and municipal corporations like that of Ludhiana, after such a levy was introduced. The stray cow menace still continues in Ludhiana and in many other places, the cow shelter organizers were forced to seek financial assistance from other sources, according to reports

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