Coronavirus Maharashtra: State earns Rs 62 crore from liquor sales in 2 days

PTI
Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The amount was collected by the excise department by Tuesday night with just one third of the total number of liquor shops in the state remaining open, a senior official said.

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government collected more than Rs 62 crore revenue in two days of liquor sale after relaxations in COVID-19 lockdown were announced, said a senior official on Tuesday.

The amount was collected by the excise department by Tuesday night with just one third of the total number of liquor shops in the state remaining open, he said.

An estimated 16.10 lakh litres of bottled IMFL, beer, wines and country liquor were sold, he said.

The state has over 10,000 licensed shops that sell country liquor, IMFL, wine and beer of which merely 3,500 operated on Monday and Tuesday, he said.

The long queues of tipplers outside liquor outlets led to the excise department recording an estimated revenue of Rs 62.55 crore by Tuesday night, he said.

Of this, Rs 11 crore was collected on Monday, the day one of liquor sale, the official said.

Following relaxations in lockdown norms, long queues of tipplers were seen outside standalone liquor shops on Monday in various parts of Maharashtra though authorities in some districts decided not to permit alcohol sale.

All liquor shops were closed ever since a national lockdown was imposed across the country on March 25 to halt the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown was extended till May 17, but standalone liquor shops were permitted to operate as part of relaxations by the state government.

There are 10,822 license holders in the state of which 3,543 opened for business. The long queues outside every shop have now reflected in states coffers with the sale of an estimated 16.10 lakh litres of bottled IMFL, beer, wines and country liquor.

"The estimated earnings from the sale stood at Rs 62.55 crore, said Kantilal Umap, state excise commissioner.

There are 17 districts (out of total 36) in Maharashtra where liquor shops remained open.

Collectors in nine districts have decided not to permit opening of liquor shops to avoid the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Two districts - Osmanabad and Latur - had opened shops but due to crowding, the authorities immediately ordered their closure.

There are five other districts where liquor shops were not opened but the authorities are working out a plan to allow them to operate in the coming days.

Maharashtra has three dry districts - Wardha, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur. 

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