Hyderabad: Liquor sales hit a new high in Telangana this year. In a just 7 months (April 1 to October 15), the Telangana government earned Rs 16,000 crore revenue through liquor sales alone. The government is confident of achieving more than 100 percent of the target of Rs 30,000 crore by the end of December. The government, it is learnt, is contemplating to reopen all the licensed bars soon so that the liquor trade would increase in the coming months.
The bypolls to Nagarjuna Sagar and Huzurabad Assembly constituencies and the festive season have been the reason behind steep increase in the consumption of alcohol despite closure of pubs and bars due to Covid restrictions imposed since May this year. As against the target of Rs 30,000 crore revenue through liquor sales and monthly licence fee collected from the liquor dealers, the Excise and Prohibition department has been the frontrunner among other revenue-generating departments in achieving the targets set by the government. “This year, the government has so far earned Rs 20,000 crore as excise revenue, which includes liquor sales and licence fee. The possibility of achieving the revenue targets above 100 per cent is not ruled out,” a senior Excise official said. In 2020-2021, the government has targeted to generate Rs 27,000 crore but the Excise department could not meet the expectations due to corona pandemic and imposition of the lockdown from April to June last year.
The total earnings through liquor sales was only Rs 24,000 crore. But this time, it would be more than Rs 30,000 crore before the end of the FY 2021-2022. “In just one week’s time between October 7 and 15 during Dasara festival, liquor worth Rs 700 crore was sold in the state,” officials said, adding that the ensuing Diwali, Christmas and New Year would help in increasing the sale of liquor. Ranga Reddy district occupied the first position in liquor sales, followed by Nalgonda, Hyderabad, Warangal, Medak and Mahbubnagar districts.