BENGALURU: The lockdown in April and the imposition of a hefty extra tax on liquor in Could had a huge effect on one of many state authorities’s greatest income sources — liquor gross sales.
The sale of liquor in state dropped by 33% to 100 lakh instances within the April-June quarter, in comparison with 152 lakh instances offered in the identical interval final 12 months. Every case comprises 8.5 litres of liquor. The autumn in gross sales resulted within the state accumulating Rs 3,846 crore in excise within the quarter, a drop of Rs 1,913 crore in comparison with the year-ago quarter.
The federal government had acquired Rs 5,750 crore from liquor gross sales final 12 months. The budgetary goal for this fiscal is Rs 22,700 crore. Whereas excise officers mentioned the dip in income and gross sales is essentially because of the 40-day lockdown imposed by the Karnataka authorities, liquor distributors say it was additionally on account of the hike in excise obligation.
Govt trying to mop up Rs 3,000cr in income
Govindraj Hegde, president, Karnataka Wine Store House owners Affiliation, mentioned, “This has proved counterproductive as many individuals, primarily the poor, are discovering it too extremely priced, particularly in these instances of misery.”
The federal government had elevated extra excise obligation on all manufacturers of Indianmade liquor by 23% to 31% within the first week of Could to rake in additional income. This improve ought to have resulted in a corresponding hike in income assortment in Could and June if gross sales had returned to pre-Covid ranges. However the extent of fall in income within the quarter means that it didn’t.
The state authorities is banking on the sector to gather at the very least Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore of extra income to make up for the deficit it expects from different main income sources which have been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Excise division officers, nevertheless, attributed the subdued liquor gross sales in Could and June to continued restrictions on the liquor commerce — non-opening of bars and eating places, pubs, golf equipment and different eating providers the place liquor is served.
“As of now, solely retail wine outlets and bars are allowed to offer takeaway providers. These account for under 50% of the liquor enterprise,” mentioned an excise division official. With Covid-19 instances rising and folks fearing to step out of their homes, liquor gross sales are prone to fall additional within the coming days.