After surcharge on stamp duty, Vasundhara Raje govt proposes ‘cow cess’ on liquor

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After surcharge on stamp duty, Rajasthan’s BJP government is all set to extend scope of cow cess. The finance department has prepared the proposal to impose cow cess, a surcharge, on price of liquor.

Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras

The proposal is still in the planning stage, government insiders familiar with the matter said.

The government is yet to finalise the cess rate and the types of liquor on which it will be imposed. “Those buying liquor, however, will have to shell out more,” a government official said on the condition of anonymity, quoted Hindustan Times.

There was already 10% surcharge on property deals that was introduced by CM Vasundhara Raje in her budget speech last year.

She had introduced it for development of basic infrastructure facilities and protection and propagation of cows. This too has now been doubled. “It has also been agreed to increase the cow cess from current level of 10 per cent to 20 per cent on the stamp duty,” official sources informed, quoted The Asian Age.

In one year, the government managed to generate around Rs 235 crore in revenue from the cow surcharge levied on stamp duty. “The state cabinet has approved the notification of increasing the surcharge on stamp duty by 10%. The proposal has been sent to Governor for approval,” a source close to the matter said.

A senior official said the surcharge imposed was inadequate in comparison to grants required for cow shelters. The government had increased grant to registered shelters from three to six months in the budget but did not increase the tax to meet the requirement, reported Hindustan Times.

The current rate of stamp duty on property registration is 5% for men and 4% for women. The 20% of surcharge for cow protection will be in addition to this.

An order issued by the state finance department on March 31, 2017 read: “In exercise of the powers conferred of the Rajasthan Stamp Act, 1998 and in supersession of this department’s notification, state government hereby order surcharge at the rate of 10% on stamp duty payable on all instruments for the purposes of conservation and propagation of cow and its progeny.”

The amount of cess on liquor will depend on how much money the directorate of Gopalan – a body constituted for the exclusive purpose of cow protection – wants to collect.
Rajasthan was the first state to have a dedicated ministry for cow welfare.

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