MUMBAI: Maharashtra excise department is staring at Rs 2000 crore revenue loss in the last one month due to COVID-19 lockdown.
Deputy commissioner of state excise Pradeep Pawar said, “The state excise department was earning about Rs 40 to Rs 42 crore revenue per day (Rs 1200 crore per month). As there was the renewal of liquor licences at the beginning of this month, the government expected to earn about Rs 800 crore to 900 crores. According to our estimation, more than Rs 2000 crore revenue has been lost due to lockdown. However, the health of the people is our main priority at this moment, and therefore, the government, despite several requests, did not allow wine shops to do any business.”
MNS chief Raj Thackeray had recently written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting him to allow the reopening of shops so that the state can generate revenue to deal with the ongoing financial crisis.
“We are ready to reopen the wine shops but the centre is refusing to give permission. Many states along with Maharashtra turned down requests for opening of liquor shops. We are also worried about how to generate revenue during the ongoing lockdown. If it continues, the things will be worse in the state,” said a senior government official requesting anonymity.
As there is a shortage of sanitiser, Maharashtra government had given nod to distilleries to manufacture alcohol-based sanitiser. Pradeep Pawar, deputy commissioner, excise department said that earlier the distilleries were not allowed to make sanitizers. “But due to lockdown, alcohol making has been halted and keeping in view the demand for sanitizer, we have permitted the firms to produce sanitizer. So far, we have produced six lakh litre of alcohol-contained sanitizer,” Pawar said.
About 20 per cent of the sanitiser produced by the distilleries in the state has been donated to hospitals, health workers, and local bodies as part of the Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) scheme, Pawar added.