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Tipplers push up revenues

Special Correspondent
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The Excise Department has announced a marked increase in liquor sales during April-October, 2010 compared to the same period the previous year.

Liquor sales in the State went up by 18 per cent in April-October, and pushed up revenues from Rs. 3,800 crore during the same period in 2009 to Rs. 4,400 crore.

With outlets across the State generating reasonably good business, the department has asked its district-level officers to identify locations to open more outlets as well as depots.

Minister for Excise M.P. Renukacharya held a review meeting with officials of MSIL, Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Ltd., department officials and office-bearers of retail shop owners' associations and heard grievances of officials and shop owners.

In terms of revenue growth, the State registered a 16 per cent increase. As against 216 lakh cases of liquor sold in April-October last year, sales touched 255 lakh cases during the same period this year, an increase of 18 per cent, he said.

Noting that cooperation between liquor shop owners and officials would lessen public complaints against the department and help eliminate sale of spurious liquor, the Minister said stern action would be taken against those who open shops early and close them late in the evening. According to the department regulations, shops are to remain open between 10 a.m. and 10.30 p.m.

To eliminate sale of spurious/illicit liquor, the Minister told taluk, district and State-level officials to conduct regular raids and inspections. Taluk-level officials had been told to hold meetings to check manufacture of liquor illegally.

The Minister said licenses of 45 shops had been suspended and 120 licenses cancelled following reports of sale of illicit liquor in Bangalore Urban district.

The department had asked the police to invoke the provisions of the Anti-Goonda Act against those indulging in the manufacture and sale of illicit liquor.

The Minister said shop owners should sell liquor at MRP only and warned that action would be taken against those who cheated customers by jacking up prices.

Liquor sales in the State went up by 18 per cent in April-October

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