Karnataka: The revenue cut since the March 25 lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 on Wednesday has led to a sharp 11% increase in taxes on all alcohol products in favor of earnings. On Wednesday the Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa told, “The Karnataka government has to curb the spread of Covid-19, Karnataka has raised taxes on liquor by a whopping 11% since March 25 to reduce revenue after the lockdown”. Income from alcohol is one of the largest sources of income in every state. With liquor stores allowed to re-open in two days, Karnataka has collected revenue of Rs 242 crore. For Karnataka state, the revenue from liquor sales in the last financial year was 21 21.44 billion, which is more than the target of 20 20.95 billion.
Karnataka has followed Delhi, which has levied a whopping 70% “special coroner’s fee” to collect some much-needed revenue amid disruptions due to epidemics and lockdowns.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday announced a special package of Rs 1,610 crore to reassure farmers and the unorganized sector affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The following announcement made by the Karnataka government:
- People from all sections of society are facing financial difficulties due to the lockdown of more than 1 1⁄2 months.
- The vegetables and fruits that have been affected due to the lockdown. They were not able to market their products. The government has decided to announce a relief package for these farmers.
- “Since all the temples are closed and there are no festivals or other ceremonies, there is no demand for flowers”, Yeddyurappa said. It is estimated that farmers have cultivated flowers on about 11,687 hectares of land. The government has decided to pay a maximum compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare for the affected flower growers.
- Washer men (dhobis) and barbers who were bereft of earnings during the lockdown will get a one-time relief of Rs 5,000.”It will benefit about 60000 washers and 2.30 million barbers,” Yeddyurappa said in a press conference.
- Auto rickshaw and taxi drivers will also be given similar compensation.”There are about 7.75 lakh auto and taxi drivers who will get Rs 5,000 each.”
- Yeddyurappa announced, an additional Rs 3,000 crore for construction workers to prevent migration. Out of a total of 15.60 lakh registered workers, the government has already done 2,000 to 11.80 lakh construction works. The remaining four lakh construction workers will get only Rs 2,000 after verifying their bank account details. With an additional Rs 3,000, all the construction workers will get full Rs 5000, ‘he said.
- Payment of fixed charges on larger electricity bills Punishment and interest for non-industrial industries will be suspended duration of 2 months.
- MSMEs have suffered huge production losses due to this Lockdown. It takes some time for them to be revived. Henceforth the government has decided to come to the rescue of MSMEs. The monthly fixed charge on electricity bills of MSMEs will be waived for two months.
- He also announced a new project for weavers. Under the Nekarara Sammana Yojana, the government will deposit Rs 2,000 directly into the bank accounts of 54,000 weavers, Yeddyurappa said.
- Yeddyurappa announced a special package as the government was under tremendous pressure to address the humanitarian crisis caused by the lockdown. The opposition party Congress has repeatedly demanded a special package to help the man deal with the lockdown.