Thiruvananthapuram, March 30 :
Liquor sales in Kerala during the current fiscal fell down marginally quantitywise but zoomed past Rs.90 billion in value terms.
“This is for the first time that the sales value has crossed Rs.9,000 crore (Rs.90 billion) and with just one more day for the current fiscal to end, it could cross Rs.9,300 crore,” sources in the state excise department told IANS.
Rum reigns as the first choice of tipplers, accounting for more than 55 percent of liquor sold, followed by brandy, with close to 40 percent share. Vodka sales account for four percent while gin, whiskey and wine together account for barely one percent.
The total sales value for the 11-month period (April 2013-February 2014) in the current fiscal touched Rs.8,511 crore and contribution to the state exchequer by way of taxes was Rs.6,830 crore,” said a source, who did not wish to be identified.
In the previous fiscal (2012-13), liquor sales in value terms closed at Rs.8,818 crore and contribution to the state exchequer was Rs.7,241 crore. But in quantity terms, the government expects that there would be a marginal drop, as in the previous fiscal a record 24.4 million cases of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) were sold.
“Till February 2014, sales of 22 million cases of IMFL were recorded and by Monday, the sales for March 2014 would be around 2.1 million cases. It means, in quantity terms there is going to be a marginal fall compared to the previous fiscal,” said an excise official.
The sale of beer in quantity terms grew by five percent by the end of last month and by March 31, 2014, beer sales were expected to touch 10.7 million cases — up compared to 9.5 million cases in the previous fiscal.
Liquor is sold in the state through 708 bar hotels and 383 state-owned retail outlets.