THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Liquor sales in the state were hit on Wednesday on account of the Centre’s surprise decision to scrap higher denomination currency notes.
Sales on the day dropped by approximately 20 per cent due to the overnight demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, according to top officials of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), the state government monopoly on liquor sales.
‘’We have not received the final figures yet, but the sales have dipped by around 20 per cent,’’ Bevco managing director H Venkatesh said.
In fact, the Kerala State Beverages Corporation officials are expecting even worse sales on Thursday, with ATMs and banks expected to be fully functional only by Friday.
On a normal day, the Kerala State Beverages Corporation sells liquor - brandy, rum, whisky, wine, gin, vodka and beer - to the tune of Rs 28-Rs 29 crore on an average.
With the two high-end notes whisked out from the financial system, Bevco outlets refused to accept them on Wednesday; Rs 500 notes constitute one of the most transacted currency notes in liquor shops, and its ceasing to be legal tender contributed to the slump in sales.
On the other hand, the new development is also prompting Bevco to dust up an old proposal - accept plastic money at its outlets.
‘’We don’t accept cards at present, but we may have to think of it now. There was a proposal earlier in this regard,’’ Venkatesh said.