Now, pay more to get tipsy in Maharashtra

Annual Maharashtra budget sees rise in tax on liquor and lottery wins

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Be prepared to pay more for your tipple from next month as the state government has increased value added tax on the maximum retail price of both Indian and foreign liquor by 3 percent — from 23.08% to 25.93%. Tax on the weekly lottery has been increased from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Taxes have not been hiked on any other commodity or product in the annual budget presented on Saturday in the State Legislature.

Other things that will cost more from April 1 onwards are fees for services provided, such as home registration, court fees and fines under various acts, but this is because these charges are very low as they had not been changed for decades. These will be reviewed taking into account the current situation and notified separately.

The budget that expects a deficit of R4,500 crore will provide for agriculture and allied sector, because of the state's agrarian crisis. The government has decided to not offer loan waiver to farmers though.

The Opposition did not approve of the budget and interrupted both Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and his junior, Deepak Kesarkar, through their two-hour speeches in the Assembly and Council, respectively. Later, the Opposition burnt copies of the budget.

However, Sena members, who were equally demanding in the last nine days over the loan waiver issue, cooperated with the ruling partner and did not create any disturbance. The financial provisions in the different schemes are aimed at making farming sustainable in the long run instead of offering the distressed farmers a loan waiver, which is being demanded by the Opposition.

Sources said taxation was largely ignored because of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which is expected to be implemented from July this year.

> Maharashtra School of Drama will be built at Mumbai Film City by 2018.
> Green buildings to be constructed in the State for saving electricity and water.
> Rs 559.30 crore to be allotted for construction and strengthening of government medical colleges and hospitals.
> Rs 1,600 crores has been provided for the development of cities selected under Smart City Mission.
> 28,000 gram panchayats in Maharashtra will become digital by 2018

What will cost more
> Indian and Foreign liquor
> Online, paper lottery What will be cheaper
> Debit/credit card swipe machines
> Milk testing kit
> Aviation fuel at smaller airports
> Sugarcane for factories
> Geomembrane for farm ponds
> Soil testing kit
> Funerals in electric and gas crematoriums



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