Centre mulls introduction of Covid cess to fund pandemic expenditure

New Delhi: The Centre may impose a new cess to fund additional burden of state exchequer relating to coronavirus pandemic, media reports said.

Media reports, however, said that a final decision is yet to emerge on this score. The surcharge may be levied through the Union Budget.

The reports said the proposal for a cess was discussed that centred around a small cess on high-income earners and some indirect taxes. Another proposal is to add a cess to excise on petroleum and diesel or on top of customs duties.

The Centre is likely to bear the cost of Covid-19 vaccination programme, which is starting on January 16. The government is also planning additional spending likely on infrastructure, the rural economy and the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana in the next financial year to support the economy.

Meanwhile, several states have imposed  Covid cess to overcome the financial burden relating to the pandemic.  Jharkhand has introduced a Covid cess on minerals, while Punjab imposed more tax on liquor.

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