New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The liquor prices in Delhi have come down almost to pre-lockdown days as the government has special corona cess, which was imposed last month, has been removed. 

The excise department's decision to remove 70 per cent "special corona fee" was taken at a Delhi Cabinet meeting last week. However, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi govermment has now increased VAT on liquor from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, which had to a marginal increase in the maximim retail price of all alcoholic beverages. 

The special corona cess was imposed to boost the government's revenue, which has been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic. Citing revenue figures, Kejriwal had said the Delhi government earned Rs 3,500 crore in April 2019, but only Rs 300 crore in April this year. 

Delhi has more than 850 liquor shops, of which around 150 are located in malls and at the airport. Most wine shops weren't operational last month. This could be seen as the reason behind the sharp decline in earnings.

Within a month, the Delhi government earned close to Rs 225 crore as special corona fee, according to a Times of India report. 

The special fee was imposed on May 5, a day after selective liquor shops reopened after remaining closed for over 45 days in wake of the lockdown. 

Times of India quoted officials saying that manufacturers and distributors were given three days' time to print new labels with revised rates to ensure the latest price was shown on bottles from Wednesday, June 10. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta