THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : It seems most tipplers aren’t that tenacious a lot if their favourite drink becomes a wee bit hard to come by. That, at least, is what numbers reveal.
In the six months after 418 bars in the state downed shutters - from April to September 2014 - liquor sales have fallen by roughly 71,46,354 litres compared to the corresponding six months (April-September) of 2013, according to a study by the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC-India) based on the monthly reports of the Bevco. Sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor fell by roughly 45,12,554 litres (5,04,068 cases) and beer by 26,33,800 litres (3,31,379 cases).
“The drop in sales vindicates the World Health Organisation (WHO) observation that ‘addressing easy availability is one of the most effective strategies in bringing down demand’,’’ ADIC-India director Johnson J Edayaranmula said. Liquor sales have also dropped if you compare the sales of April-September 2014 with that of the six months immediately preceding it - October 2013 to March 2014. IMFL sales went down by 39,65,932 litres and beer sales dippedby 79,98,232 litres.
Of the 730 bars in Kerala, 418 have been remaining closed since April after the State Government, deeming them ‘sub-standard,’ decided not to renew their licences. Excise Minister K Babu, quoting Bevco figures, had told a meeting here recently that IMFL sales had slipped by four per cent and the sale of beer by as much as seven per cent.
“T'his drop has occurred in a market which has been registering an annual growth of 12 to 67 per cent during the past three decades. ,’’ Edayaranmula said. The closure of bars is also the reason for the big dip in the sale of beer, he said.