NELLORE: It’s raining cash for the excise department in Nellore district, thanks to the unprecedent rise in alcohol consumption. Tipplers in the district are gulping down more liquor when compared to last year and the proof is in the swelling revenue collections of the excise department for the first three months.
Excise officials are overjoyed as the trend indicates 88 percent increase in liquor sales for the last three months when compared to the first three months of the last year. This year, excise officials have fixed Rs 1,100 crore as target across the district as against Rs 1,000 crore for the previous year. Though the government has a lot to cheer about it definitely does not augur well for the families of the tipplers.
According to excise officials, a majority of the people from rural areas are showing preference for beer. The consumption of beer has increased in rural areas especially in the Gudur division when compared to last year. The revenue from liquor sales in the district for February, March and April is Rs 300 crore as against Rs 200 crore for the same period in 2017. The department earned Rs 57 crore in February, Rs 52 crore in March and Rs 92 crore in April 2017.
For the corresponding period this year, the department collected Rs 92 crore, Rs 107 crore and Rs 101 crore respectively. Officials said they recorded 88 percent growth in liquor sales for the three months.“We have to reach targets as fixed by the senior authorities in the department. We have been working as sales executives to promote sales at shops to reach targets,” said a senior excise official from the Nellore division.
This trend is also leading to families plunging into financial crisis and domestic violence and women organisations want the government to control the menace. “We have observed that 50 percent of the meagre earnings of daily-wage earners are being spent on liquor. This is not just adding to the financial problems of households but also leading to domestic violence,’’ AIDWA district secretary B Vijayamma said. There are two excise divisions in the district, Gudur and Nellore.
The department granted permission to 199 shops under Nellore and 151 shops under Gudur excise divisions. There are 61 shops in Nellore-I and Nellore-II areas, 26 shops in Kavali, 29 in Kovur, 20 in Buchireddypalem, 16 in Udayagiri, 13 in Vinjamur, 15 in Indukurpeta, 19 in Atmakur area under Nellore division. There are 31 shops in Gudur, 19 in Vakadu, 37 in Sullurupeta, 19 in Naidupeta, 25 in Venkatagiri and 20 in Rapur.