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Drinking in Punjab? You may soon have to pay 'gau sewa' tax

Rs 10 on every bottle of IMFL, Rs 5 each on a bottle of countrymade liquor, beer

cow liquor tax 759 The government plans to collect Rs 60 crore annually as cow tax. (Reuters/Express)

Tipplers in Punjab could soon be doing some gau sewa.

If things go according to the plan, they will have to shell out Rs 10 extra on a bottle of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), Rs 5 each on every bottle of Country Made Liquor (CML) and beer as gau sewa cess (cow tax) from this fiscal itself.

While the state did not levy any such tax in the excise policy announced ahead of this fiscal, but Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi is set to impress upon Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to amend the excise policy so that the cow tax is collected from June this year.

A decision to this effect was taken Wednesday at a meeting of commissioners and officials of local bodies across the state chaired by Joshi.

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“I will request the Chief Minister to get the excise policy amended, so that the cess is charged from this financial year only,” said Joshi.

The state government, which had set the ball rolling to collect cow tax last year, has already got 33 municipal committees and seven municipal corporations to pass the resolution providing for gau sewa cess in their respective houses.

The notification for levying the cess would be issued by May 25. The state government plans to levy it in all the 22 districts of Punjab by June 30, said Joshi.

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Two Municipal Corporations, including Mohali and Bathinda, are already charging cow tax. Of the remaining MCs, only Amritsar is yet to pass the resolution. Seven others, including Patiala, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Moga and Phagwara, have passed the resolution and are waiting for the notification.

The local bodies were asked to pass the resolution in their respective bodies last year. Out of 154 bodies, 40 have complied. The rest have been advised to follow suit at the earliest.

The government plans to collect Rs 60 crore annually as cow tax.

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The cess levied would include Rs100 on every round of oil tanker in cities, 2 paisa per unit of power consumption, Rs1,000 on booking of AC marriage palace, Rs 500 on booking of non-AC marriage palace, Re1 on each bag of cement, Rs120 per case of IMFL and Rs 60 on each case of country made liquor and beer.

Punjab has 472 cow shelters housing 2.69 lakh cows. Over one lakh cows roam on the roads as stray.

First published on: 12-05-2016 at 09:29 IST
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