KOCHI: For liquor consumers in the state, the government decision to keep outlets open on Sunday was an unexpected development. Many came to know about it only when they arrived at the outlets to buy liquor on Saturday evening.
The result was a poor response, with a majority of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (BEVCO) outlets wearing a deserted look. Many customers did not book via the BevQ app as they were unaware of the outlets opening on Sunday.
"The 301 outlets controlled by BEVCO and Consumerfed used to get around Rs 30 crore to Rs 40 crore from liquor sales on Sundays. However, on the first Sunday after liquor sales reopened through the virtual queue system, the sales were very poor as BEVCO could earn only a few lakh rupees. With the introduction of the BevQ app, bars and beer parlours have eaten into the share of sales and BEVCO is witnessing a dip in revenue," said a source with the Kerala State Beverages Corporation.
Though there are reports that liquor is being sold from bars and beer parlours without tokens, only a few customers arrived to buy liquor on Sunday. Unlike previous Sundays after the lockdown announcement, only a few eateries and establishments were open. Bar employees said that business was poor, compared to previous days.
Meanwhile, there is little clarity on whether the outlets will function on the coming Sundays. "The government order to remain open was only for this Sunday," said BEVCO managing director G Sparjan Kumar. The revenue generated on the day is yet to be reviewed, he added.