BENGALURU: On day one of liquor sale after the lockdown was lifted, Karnataka excise department was on a high. Reason: The state got a collection of Rs 45 crore collection, much higher than it was expected.
According to the excise department, Rs 45 crore revenue was earned from the sale of 3.9 lakh litres of beer and 8.5 lakh litres of IML sales from 9 am to 7 pm. State excise minister H Nagesh told The New Indian Express that an expectation sale of Rs 25 crore was expected, but this is higher. Of this, as a thumb rule, 40% is from Bengaluru alone.
“People need not rush to make purchases as there is sufficient stock. There are 26.5 lakh boxes of IML and 16.5 lakh boxes of beer, a ten-day stock. From Tuesday liquor prices will rise according to state budget and an additional 6% excise duty will be levied - which will come into the effect from this fiscal,” he said.
Though the department had fixed 2.3 litres per person, some people have purchased more than that, he said. The minister said he was surprised to learn that a person in Adugodi made a purchase worth Rs 52,841.
According to the excise department till 12 pm, around 16,000 litres of liquor was sold and as the day progressed it reached 10 lakh litres. The final sale of the day is estimated to be around 12.4 lakh litres.
Some men drank so much immediately after they bought the alcohol that they fell on the roads. An old man in Davangere was so excited after drinking that he thanked every official, citizen and politician
for allowing the sale.
Some shopkeepers tried to make most of the opportunity by charging about 25% of the printed rate. The excise officials warned stern action those engaging in such activities.
“Normally on any given day, around one lakh litres is sold. People need not rush to make purchases, the stores will remain open and liquor will be available. There is sufficient in the warehouse and the distilleries are also working now. Directions have been issued to all liquor stores and police officials to ensure there are no untoward incidents,” excise commissioner Yashavanatha V, said.