Sharing payment receipts of a 750 ml bottle of Blender's Pride (an alcohol brand) which costs Rs 2,155 in Congress-ruled Karnataka, almost thrice the amount a customer pays for the same bottle in Assam, cabinet minister Pijush Hazarika pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government here does not tax its citizens exhorbitantly.
The Assam cabinet minister who holds the portfolios of parliamentary affairs, water resources information and public relations, printing and stationery, and social justice and empowerment, though, highlighted that alcohol consumption has harmful effects on health.
However, he stressed on the Karnataka government levying exorbitant taxes on an item that poses health risks saying, "Capitalizing on its consumption by levying exorbitant taxes in Congress-controlled states is even more harmful."
He said that such practice is firmly opposed by the government in Assam which strives for maximum development with minimum taxation. "We will continue to voice our criticisms, with the ultimate goal of providing relief and benefitting all segments of society," he wrote on X.
The post read, "Alcohol consumption's harmful effects on health are indisputable. However, amidst ongoing discussions regarding revenue generation for state governments through liquor, here is an enlightening piece of information. Those who are reluctant to acknowledge the reality need to know that the Congress-led state of Karnataka imposes three times more taxes on alcohol compared to Assam."
Pijush Hazarika further wrote, "Consequently, while a 750 ML alcohol bottle costs Rs. 835 in Assam, the same quantity in Karnataka translates to a staggering Rs. 2,155. Again, it must be emphasized that alcohol poses health risks. Nevertheless, capitalizing on its consumption by levying exorbitant taxes in Congress-controlled states is even more harmful."
"The Government of Assam firmly opposes such practices and pledges to minimize taxation while striving for maximum development. We will continue to voice our criticisms, with the ultimate goal of providing relief and benefitting all segments of society," he added.
Meanwhile, his post was has been met with a lot of criticism as users tried to make sense out of what the cabinet minister said. Several users called him out saying that low taxation on alcohol in Assam has transpired into the youth of state taking to alcoholism, while many also pointed out that the comparison was baseless.
A user, who goes by the name 'gowthampenmetsa', in a series of posts said, "Can you please compare the percentage of Devolution of Taxes that being paid by Central Government back to Karnataka and Assam to the percentage taxes being paid by the People in the Respective States !?"
He further wrote, "For every 100 Rupee being paid by Karnataka it’s getting back 13.4 for the same 100 Assam getting 354 is it not taking from other state and funding to Assam Assam not being developed at the cost of other states ??"
"@Pijush_hazarika I am sure if you return that extra 254 back prices in Assam sky rocket then compare prices of both states. Else respect the people and govt who is paying you for development of Assam."
Another user named Anjan wrote, "FYI, Alcohal cost is always highest in Karnataka - be it BJP Govt or Congress Govt. Just becoz Congress came to power-next day itself Alcohol cost gone up. Collection of taxes is not the point here but how much that money is spend wisely for the overall development of the state."
Sharing an image of a bottle of alcohol, another user wrote, "One day, we will be recognized for this, not for Brahmaputra and Rhino. Then, only your mission will be accomplished. The reason I voted for BJP is mis rule of Congress. But you are comparing everything with Congress now. I feel pity for myself."