With the government deciding not to renew the licences of 418 ‘substandard’ bars in the state from April 1, there has been a spurt in the sales at State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) outlets.
According to sources in the Bevco, there is a 35 per cent rise in the sales at over 300 Bevco outlets. Compared to the average daily sales of Rs 20 crore, on Wednesday, the sales touched Rs 27.17 crore.
The increase in sales tax by 10 per cent announced in the state budget has also reflected in the revenue.
However, Bevco officials said the increased sales tax component would be just five per cent of the 35 per cent rise in Wednesday’s sales revenue.
Bevco General Manager A Musthafa Kamal Pasha told Express that the price hike of 10 per cent was applicable only to liquor priced at Rs 400 per bottle. Liquor with a price tag below Rs 400 will attract only 105 per cent sales tax while those above will fetch 115 per cent tax.
Bevco officials said there has been sufficient stock to meet the demand in the wake of the closure of the 418 ‘substandard’ bars.
They said that out of the 335 bars allowed to function with the consent of the Election Commission, 321 would be operational in the coming days. In Ernakulam region alone, 76 bars will be functional by next day. Most of the bars are located in the Ernakulam and Thrissur districts.
Of the 335 bars, licences of 14 bars had been cancelled following the orders of the Excise Commissioner.
As the mercury rose to 36 degree and even above in the state, the sales of beer has also shot up considerably and is expected touch an all-time high this season.