New Delhi: A record 1.14 crore liquor bottles worth Rs 218 crore were sold in the city between December 24 and December 31 — from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve — in 2022, the data shared by the excise department of Delhi government revealed.
December also witnessed an average daily sale of 13.8 lakh liquor bottles, the highest for the last month of a year since 2019, and the government earned Rs 560 crore from liquor — excise duty and value added tax — in the month, officials said. The data was collected from 520-odd liquor stores run by four government corporations in the capital.
Officials added that the liquor consumed in 960-odd bars in hotels, clubs and restaurants was additional and the data was still being compiled.
The last week of December and three-four days preceding Diwali are considered the “festival seasons” for the alcohol industry and witness maximum sales in a year. During the Diwali season in October 2022, 48 lakh bottles worth over Rs 100 crore were sold.
The liquor industry went through a major turmoil in 2022 after the vigilance department pointed out lapses in formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, under which private players were allotted zones to open retail stores. After CBI registered a case, Delhi government withdrew the policy and brought in force the old excise regime, which only allowed government-run liquor stores to operate in the city.
According to the data accessed by TOI, December 31 saw the maximum number of liquor bottles sold through the corporations-run liquor stores. On that particular day, 20 lakh bottles of varied brands and sizes were sold at the total value of Rs 45.3 crore, followed by December 24 when 14.7 lakh bottles worth Rs 28.8 crore were sold. December 27 saw the sale of the least number of liquor bottles during the recent season, with a count of little less than 11 lakh bottles worth Rs 19.3 crore.
Officials said the festival season of Diwali and Christmas-New Year was a mega affair in 2022 after two years of relatively subdued celebrations due to the pandemic, and it also reflected in the sale of alcohol.
This December also saw the best average daily sale at 13.8 lakh liquor bottles vis-a-vis the previous three years. In 2019, 12.55 lakh liquor bottles were sold, 12.95 lakh in 2020 and 12.52 lakh in 2021.
Officials said that the government earned Rs 789 crore from liquor sale in September 2022, Rs 534 crore in October and Rs 631crore in November.
The above news was originally posted on news.google.com