One of the relaxations in lockdown curbs after 45 days to reboot the economy was allowing opening of licenced liquor shops in many states including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Delhi. However, this didn’t applied to containment areas.
While this proved to be a headache for the law enforcement agencies as cops tried to enforce social distancing norms outside liquor shops, the states themselves appear to have gained by it in terms of revenues. Liquor sale is a big source of revenue for the governments.
Uttar Pradesh registered sale of over Rs 100 crore from the sale of liquor on Monday, reports news agency IANS.
“I don’t think there would be any single industry with just less than one lakh work force that gives Rs 100 crore revenue (to the state exchequer) in a day, “ Principal Secretary, Excise, Sanjay Bhoosreddy was quoted as saying by IANS. The average daily sale of liquor in the state in normal times is around Rs 70-80 crore.
Karnataka, too, saw sale of liquor valued at Rs 45 crore on Monday.
As per the tentative figures received from across the state, around 3.9 lakh litres of beer and 8.5 lakh litres of the Indian-made liquor (IML) were sold, netting Rs 45 crore when the liquor shops were shut by 7 p.m., as per the new guidelines,” an excise official told IANS in Bengaluru.
Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday hiked the prices of liquor by 50%, a day after imposing a 25% increase. This takes the overall hike in liquor price in the southern state to 75%. The revised rates came into effect from today itself. The hike has been imposed to discourage alcohol consumption, according to the chief minister’s office, reports ANI.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government late on Monday imposed a “special corona fee” of 70% of the MRP on all categories of liquor that will be sold in the city with effect from Tuesday. Delhi govt. has also allowed the price hike of 70%.
The interesting fact is that despite such an enormous increase the sale of alcohol has not decline. People are still standing in long queues that too till 1km long to have a bottle of alcohol.