No Lull for Covid, Alcohol Boosts Government Revenue in Karnataka | Bangalore News

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BENGALURU: Despite the lockdown at the start of the year and the prolonged nighttime curfew, the government drew significant revenues from excise taxes on alcohol. It collected Rs 12,305 crore between April and September, compared to Rs 9,765 crore in the corresponding period last year. This represents a 26 percent increase.
This is also more than half of the revenue target of Rs 24,580 crore for the current fiscal year.
In September, the government earned Rs 2,081 crore from the sale of 53 lakh cardboard boxes of Indian-made alcohol and 22 boxes of lakh beer. With the start of the festival season and the government’s easing of the one-hour nighttime curfew (until 10 p.m.), revenues will likely increase further in the next quarter.
“There is usually a big increase in liquor sales in the October-December quarter due to festivals and the onset of winter. We hope the trend will continue this year, ”said an excise department official, adding that excise duty collection could exceed this year’s budget target by at least Rs 1,000 crore.
The owners of bars and restaurants in the tech capital have called on the government to remove restrictions on hours so they can do business until 11:30 p.m. “This will not only increase government revenue, but will also help us earn more from our catering services. At present, people do not dine in bars and restaurants because there are sidewalks. The money we make serving alcohol is not enough to support the business, ”said a bar owner in Bengaluru.
There were no sales of alcohol during the nationwide lockdown from March 23 to May 7 last year. Later in May 2020, the state government authorized the reopening of retail liquor stores and increased the Additional Excise Duty (AED) on all Indian-made alcohol slabs to mop up additional revenue of 2,500 crore rupees. This was the second EDA increase after the one announced in the budget. The movement exploded as the economic downturn hit people’s purchasing power.
“But now the income graph is rising, a sign that the economic recovery after the second wave is underway,” said a senior excise official.
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