Revenue from the sale of liquor across Tamil Nadu has hit a new peak, crossing the ₹30,000-crore mark.
The government’s earning from liquor stood at ₹31,157 crore, including excise and VAT (Sales Tax) during 2018-19, registering a growth of 16% over the previous fiscal.
According to the policy note on Prohibition and Excise tabled in the Assembly on Thursday, there are 5,152 liquor retail vending shops across the State as on May 31 this year, compared to the 3,866 liquor retail vending shops across Tamil Nadu by May last year, indicating an increase of about 1,286 shops.
Tasmac officials said that after the Supreme Court ban on liquor shops on highways, over 3,000 shops were closed, but the number of shops gradually rose. Besides, the closing of hotels and clubs in the cities also affected the revenue in 2017-18, in which the earnings were ₹200 crore lesser than the previous year.
“In a normal year, liquor sales grow by 5-7%.
As there was a negative growth in 2017-18, it looks like there is a big jump in revenue this year,” an official said. The increase in liquor prices was another reason, he added.
Meanwhile, the number of bars attached to Tasmac shops too increased from 1,456 as on May 25 last year to 1,872 bars as on May 31 this year.
Ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections, the AIADMK had announced phased prohibition and after coming to power, first Jayalalithaa, and then Mr. Palaniswami had each ordered the closure of 500 Tasmac shops. The government had also reduced the timing of sale at these shops.
Excise revenue goes up
The excise revenue too increased from ₹6,009.25 crore during 2017-18 to ₹6,863.11 crore during 2018-19, while the revenue through VAT increased from ₹20,788.71 crore during 2017-18 to ₹24,294.72 crore, Minister for Prohibition and Excise P. Thangamani informed the Assembly on Thursday.
The revenue generated through the export of beer by Tasmac too registered a big increase. The number of cases exported to other States increased from 10.08 lakh during 2017-18 to 35.58 lakh during 2018-19.
For the first time, Tasmac also exported a total of 8,850 cases of beer to other countries, he said.
Through the special fee on the sale of imported foreign liquor, the State doubled its revenue to ₹22.52 crore during 2018-19 from the ₹11.24 crore revenue during 2017-18.
During 2018-19, Tasmac generated a revenue of ₹16.82 lakh through service charge, he said.
“Due to continuous steps taken by this government, there has been no hooch tragedies in the State since 2011,” the Minister claimed.
Tasmac sells 356 brands of foreign spirits, beer and win through its 165 licensed (FL-11) retail outlets.
Tasmac procures Indian-made foreign spirits, beer and wine from 11 Indian-made foreign spirits manufacturing units, seven beer manufacturing units and one winery unit functioning in the State.