The State government has projected a steep decline in revenue from the Excise Department for the financial year 2013-14.

Contrary to the practice of depending on Excise, basically the sale of liquor, as a major revenue source, Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy has projected a 30 per cent decline in revenues from the Excise Department to Rs. 7,500 crore from the Rs. 10,500 crore expected by the end of the current year.

Officials of the Finance Department attribute the drop in sales to the decline in the number of belt shops as also the drop in consumption during peak hours. They claimed that strict enforcement of timings of sale of liquor, the action being taken against those found guilty of drunken driving, and decline in consumption of liquor beyond the permitted time in cities and major towns are some of the major reasons for the decline in sales.

“We have no intention to increase revenues through Excise (liquor sales),” Mr. Ramanarayana Reddy asserted when asked about the projected drop in revenue. This, in turn, translates into a tough time for tipplers and guzzlers as the stringent measures already in force to check liquor consumption on the roads will be enforced with more vigour in the coming days.

Indicating that there would not be any respite from the enforcement of rules, he said the government had decided to introduce reforms in other revenue streams to improve collection and recovery of taxes rather than depending on the revenue from Excise.

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