Tamil Nadu

Number of Tasmac shops has come down in State, says OPS

The State government in its Budget for the year 2019-2020 mentioned that the number of Tasmac shops had dwindled to 5,198.

“The number of retail Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) shops run by Tasmac has reduced from 7,896 to 5,198,” said the Deputy Chief Minister in his Budget presented on Friday. He did not give the time-frame for the statistics.

Apart from the 5,198 shops, the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited — popular by its acronym Tasmac — has 2,050 bars attached to these shops.

Doubts raised

However, analysts tracking the liquor market in Tamil Nadu have raised eyebrows on the numbers given by the government. Last year, a policy note (2018-19) that was tabled in the Assembly gave different data. According to the policy note 2018-19 of the Home, Prohibition and Excise Department, as on May 25, 2018, Tasmac had 3,866 retail vending shops and 1,456 bars attached to these retail vending shops.

A State government official said, “That was the time when we had closed shops due to the highways case. Subsequently, we relocated the closed shops. We still haven’t been able to relocate all the closed shops.” He did not give details about the time from which the data tabled in the Budget was computed.

In 2017, liquor outlets functioning on State and National Highways were asked to wind up the operations following a Supreme Court order. Then, government officials claimed that over 2,000 such shops would be relocated. The analyst said the number of outlets and revenue should have gone up (if all shops had been relocated). “The math given by the government is not convincing,” he said.

K. Shanmugam, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, said excise duty from liquor sales would see a moderate growth in 2019-20. A year ago, the growth rate was 15%. A union member said this number was just a projection. Tasmac sells liquor worth over ₹70 crore per day across the State.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 9:23:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/number-of-tasmac-shops-has-come-down-in-state-says-ops/article26222112.ece

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