Liquor sales in West Bengal have reached an all-time high and have surpassed all previous records since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Data from the excise department shows that sale of liquor shot up, especially in the last 18 months.
Sources in the excise department said a revenue of Rs 23,000 crore was generated in the period from June 2020 to December 2021. Whereas, data shows that the revenue generated through liquor sales in 2017-2018 and 2018 -2019 combined was Rs 19,000 crore.
Officials said the figures during the coronavirus period were an all-time high with 2021 recording the most liquor sale.
Country liquor was the bestseller, accounting for 35 per cent of the total sales. Beer and foreign liquor also recorded high sales. Officials said, “Despite lockdown or even night curfews, sale was the highest during the coronavirus period.”
Durga Puja and Christmas in both 2020 and 2021 witnessed unprecedented sales. Kolkata topped the chart in liquor sale in comparison to other districts.
In 2021, a revenue of Rs 404 crore was generated during Durga Puja. From December 25 to 31, meanwhile, the revenue generated was Rs 650 crore. Purchase through home delivery apps was also one of the reasons for high sales.
Sources said the state government was looking into simplifying the procedure of gaining a liquor licence for shops, bars and restaurants.