Hyderabad: In a never-before high for Telangana, the state Excise Department managed to collect ₹ 2639 crore without selling a single bottle of liquor. The money came from nearly 1.32 lakh applications charging ₹ 2 lakh non-refundable application fee each, for the allotment of 2,620 liquor shops. The vends will be picked district-wise through lottery on Monday.
Those who get the licence have to pay a fee of ₹ 50 lakh to ₹ 1.1 crore per annum, depending on the population of the area where the shop has been allotted. One-sixth of the annual licence fee has to be paid by August 23.
Under the rules, a retail excise shop in an area with population upto 5000 will pay ₹ 50 lakh. A person holding licence for a retail shop in an area with a population over 20 lakh will pay ₹ 1.1 crore a year.
For a trader, the fee is small compared to the margins. They can make 27 per cent for an “ordinary” brand and 20 per cent for premium varieties.
There is reservation in the allotment of licence too, with 786 licences or 30 per cent for disadvantaged sections.
Of this, 15 per cent is meant for Gowdas, who are traditionally into toddy tapping and liquor sale, 10 per cent outlets for Scheduled Castes and five per cent for Scheduled Tribes.
The process of accepting applications along with non-refundable ₹ 2 lakh application fee started on August 4 and concluded on Friday midnight. The shops can begin operations from December 1, as the existing licences are valid till then.
The collection this year is a big jump from the ₹ 1,370 crores collected from about 69,000 applications when licences were issued two years ago. Through shop licence fee, the government earned ₹ 3,500 crore.
Those in the know say with elections coming up this year and the next, along with economic growth, boost to business event, hospitality and tourism, liquor consumption has also grown, so more people are keen to get into the business.
Hyderabad will have 615 shops. The highest number of applications has been received from Serilingampally, which is in the IT corridor of Hyderabad and in the Shamshabad area, where the airport is located. For a shop in Saroornagar area, 10,908 applications were said to have been received.
Applications were received not just from Telangana but other states too, including a sizeable number from Andhra Pradesh.
Revenue from liquor sale has doubled in Telangana — from ₹ 12,703 crore in 2015-16 to ₹ 25,585 crore in 2021-22. Over the last one year, sales are estimated at around ₹ 30,000 crores.