Chandigarh, October 27 : – Passing through economic crisis, the Punjab Government is now in the process of improving the state’s financial condition with the help of online-lottery gambling and liquor business. The government is preparing to increase the lottery income to 300 crore from 30 crore. Likewise, there is a proposal to reduce the price of liquor, which will ensure the stop of smuggling of liquor in the state and the state is expecting an additional income of 2000 crores annually. State Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, while endorsing it, told that to make the Punjab debt free, these types of steps are necessary. Currently, liquor is the costlier in the Punjab among the other states.The seven month old Congress government has not been getting any relief on the economic front. On the contrary to meet the need of on some front of debt waiver of farmer, cheap rate electricity to the industry, loan repayment, interest, development funds, to fulfil promises made in its manifesto, the government needs a lot of income. After implementing the GST by the centre, the Punjab has limited area for imposing new taxes. On October 26, an important meeting of Punjab Government was also held to discuss the increase of financial resources of the state.According to the information, the Punjab government is preparing to increase the lottery business to increase the income. As of 2009, there were 336 weekly, monthly and 4 bumper lotteries in Punjab, which meant the government had revenue of Rs. 170 crores annually. But after the implementation of new lottery regulation-2010 by the Union Government, mostly lotteries schemes had been shut down.Due to the closure of Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland lottery, the income of Rs.105 crore annually had been dropped, alone. Total income from lottery had been decreased to around Rs. 20 crore only. The government had also launched the online lottery in 2014, which has not been successful due to the strict conditions of the government. The government is now planning to start these lotteries again in a systematic and well planned manner. In the past, these lotteries had been branded as gambling.The government is expecting increase in the revenue of the state from Rs.300 to 400 crores from lottery business. Apart from this, the government is expecting revenue more than Rs. 2,000 crore from the business of liquor, if the government reduces the prices of liquor. According to sources, due to high prices, liquor about Rs. 500 crores is being smuggled to Punjab, every year. However, the figure of recovery of alcohol is small. Alcohol consumption is increasing by 10.8 percent annually, which also lead to increases the sales of alcohol. In the current year 2017-18, the target of income from alcohol has been made by the state government.There are 16 distilleries in the state, which produce 23.90 lakh litres alcohol annually. But liquor in Punjab is costlier among the all state of the country. Whereas the price of liquor in the Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, is cheaper than 50% of Punjab. In Haryana, the price of alcohol is also low. State Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, in an interaction with the media, said that the government is in the process of getting more than Rs.2000 crores in excess from liquor business. The finance minister’s logic was that the population in Tamil Nadu is three times more than Punjab, which consumes highest liquor in the country, but the income from alcohol is 10 times higher than Punjab.Government wants to reduce the price of alcohol. According to the information, Punjab is also considering reducing taxes on diesel and petrol. Due to the reduction in the rates of diesel and petrol in the neighbouring Chandigarh, Haryana, and Rajasthan, the state has been losing about millions of rupees. According to the information, if this tax is reduced, then Punjab is expected to increase by Rs.300 crores, annually . This will also prevent the smuggling of fuel. Some few more plans are in the mind of government to increase the income of the state.Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal will proceed from Punjab to other states. According to the information, the FM will meet Kuwait’s Ambassador on October 29 in New Delhi. In the evening, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will hold a meeting in the evening with Ambassador of Japan. Both will also participate in the North India Investment Programme, to be held on November 1 and 2 , in Mumbai. The purposes of such meeting are to invite the foreign and Indian entrepreneur to invest in the Punjab.The information in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee or addressees. If you are not an intended recipient, please delete the message and any attachments and notify the sender of misdelivery. Any use or disclosure of the contents of either is unauthorised and may be unlawful. All liability for viruses is excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender states them, with requisite authority, to be those of the organisation.
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