CHENNAI: The closure of liquor vends has not reflected in alcohol consumption going down in Tamil Nadu. The number of Tasmac shops has reduced by nearly 20% in the past 15 years, but liquor sale jumped by eight times during the same period, a reply to an RTI question and a white paper on the government’s financial situation show.
As per the RTI reply, the number of Tasmac outlets across the state fell by 1,311 (19.5%) in 15 years —from 6,736 in 2006 to 5,425 in 2021. During the same period, the value of liquor sold through the stateowned marketing corporation went up from ₹4,195 crore to ₹33,746 crore, the white paper states. Though the average increase in the sale of liquor was 20%, the year-on-year jump ranged from 2% to 120%.
Sources in Tasmac said the volume of liquor sale doubled in more than a decade. “The volume of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IFML) sold, which was about 24 lakh cases (1 case has 48 bottles of 180 ml each) per month in 2007, hovers around 50 lakh cases in 2021. Another reason for the increase is the revision in excise duty and VAT (value added tax) on the alcoholic beverages,” a Tasmac official said. Moreover, the demand for premium variety liquor has seen a substantial rise from a mere 2% 15 years ago to around 16%. “The cost of premium brand alcoholic beverages, which was expensive when compared with normal varieties, was also a contributor for the volume of sale seeing an uptick,” the official added.
N Periyasamy, president of the AITUC-affiliated Tasmac Employees Union, said that the increase in consumption of alcohol was one of the contributing factor for the rise in sale. “It is having a huge impact on the human resources. The government must seriously engage in rehabilitation activities,” he added.
The above news was originally posted on timesofindia.indiatimes.com